A US undercover agent who poses as a paedophile to catch women selling children for sex online revealed covid-19 has made the problem ‘exponentially worse’.

The Homeland Security Investigations agent, identified only by the pseudonym Mike, appeared in a 2017 Stacey Dooley documentary after meeting the presenter in the Philippines, where he works to arrest mothers sexually abusing children.

Foreign paedophiles, often based in the US and the UK, pay a nominal amount of money to watch the women carry out horrific acts on children, both their own and others, in live webcam ‘shows’.

On one occasion a woman offered Mike the opportunity to pay to ‘play’ with a child aged 7, 8, 9, 10 or 12 for just $18.  

The Homeland Security Investigations agent, identified only by the pseudonym Mike, appeared in a 2017 Stacey Dooley documentary after meeting the presenter in the Philippines, where he works to arrest mothers sexually abusing children. Pictured, 'Mike' and Stacey

The Homeland Security Investigations agent, identified only by the pseudonym Mike, appeared in a 2017 Stacey Dooley documentary after meeting the presenter in the Philippines, where he works to arrest mothers sexually abusing children. Pictured, ‘Mike’ and Stacey

Foreign paedophiles, often based in the US and the UK, pay a nominal amount of money to watch the women carry out horrific acts on children, both their own and others, in live webcam 'shows'. Pictured, 'Mike' speaking to a contact online in the 2017 documentary

Foreign paedophiles, often based in the US and the UK, pay a nominal amount of money to watch the women carry out horrific acts on children, both their own and others, in live webcam ‘shows’. Pictured, ‘Mike’ speaking to a contact online in the 2017 documentary 

Speaking on the Stacey Dooley Revisits podcast, Mike explained covid-19 has exacerbated the issue because traffickers and customers are spending more time indoors, giving them greater opportunity to exploit children. 

The economic impact of the crisis also means more families are at risk of being targeted by traffickers. 

At the same time their child victims are not attending school, giving them no relief from the endless cycle of abuse.

‘For these kids, it’s one after another,’ Mike explained on the podcast, in which Dooley re-interviews contributors to her TV documentaries. ‘The camera shuts down and the next customer comes up, the camera shuts down, then the next customer’s up. 

‘They’re living in a perpetual hell. And it’s not just the Philippines problem, [people in] the US and the UK are the two biggest purchasers of this.’ 

He continued: ‘Now that covid has hit it is exponentially worse for these kids because everyone is stuck inside over there [in the Philippines]. The kids aren’t going to school, so it really is a selling opportunity for the traffickers. 

‘And you have everyone else around the world who aren’t working either, they’re at home. So these people who normally would do this on their off hours are now sitting in front of the computer and they have lots of time on their hands. 

‘So unfortunately for those kids, there is no break. Before they would go to school and come home and it was terrible, but now it’s worse.’ 

Speaking on the Stacey Dooley Revisits podcast , Mike explained covid-19 has exacerbated the issue because traffickers and customers are spending more time indoors, giving them greater opportunity to exploit children. Pictured, Stacey filming another episode of the podcast

Speaking on the Stacey Dooley Revisits podcast , Mike explained covid-19 has exacerbated the issue because traffickers and customers are spending more time indoors, giving them greater opportunity to exploit children. Pictured, Stacey filming another episode of the podcast

Mike, who has been embedded in online paedophile rings for a number of years said he gets ‘contacted on a regular basis by new traffickers’. ‘My undercover phone blows up every single day and there’s just no end to it really.’

In recent months he has noticed a trend towards traffickers forcing their victims to make direct contact.  

‘Not only am I getting contacted by the traffickers, I’m getting contacted by the victims as well,’ he explained. ‘They’re having the children reach out, who say: “I need money for food, please buy my show”, and that didn’t happen before.’

The agent said he fears there will be a spike in sex tourism once lockdown ends, with ‘customers’ travelling from the US and UK to the Philippines to abuse children in person. 

He said: ‘I was dealing with a trafficker last night. She sent me pictures of the foreigners that went over there and the kids they had been with. She sent me three people, all of whom were from London.’

However he said he is ‘hopeful’ law enforcement is making progress on tackling the issue and noted the important role the National Crime Agency plays in catching British perpetrators. 

He added: ‘The NCA is probably our best partner right now. When we send them a case, they have someone in handcuffs usually within four weeks. You have a lot of perpetrators there but you also have people taking these cases very seriously.’   

Stacey Dooley Revisits is available on BBC Sounds.   



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here