Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Facebook Helped Capture A "Sex Tourist"

Aussie Tourist
Social media has proven to be an effective tool in catching suspected criminals and putting them behind bars. Recently, Facebook posts helped police nab a suspected Australian "sex tourist" at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last 29 August 2016.

Anti-child pornography operatives of the Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) arrested Farhanipour Gholamreza on suspicion of involvement in child sex tourism and pornography at the NAIA Terminal 1, just as he was leaving the Philippines.

According to authorities, Gholamreza is a naturalized Australian citizen born in Tehran. He arrived in the Philippines from Sydney on August 19 to meet a minor he met through Facebook.

Facebook personnel flagged authorities when they discovered numerous naked photos of a 13-year old girl posted in chat sessions with the suspect, known as "Nick Mrison" on the social networking site.

Facebook immediately closed the suspect's account and alerted the United States National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Australian Federal Police.

"It's a protocol of Facebook to monitor all the chat logs and they came upon the account of this minor chatting with an Australian national. The victim has long been providing explicit images," said Chief Superintendent Rosauro Acio, head of the PNP-WCPC.

Australian Federal Police investigators found out that the suspect used his Facebook account to communicate with a minor located somewhere in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

In their chats, the suspect allegedly forced the minor to send nude photos via the Internet in exchange for money.

"The suspect set to meet the minor the following day, but Facebook as a matter of protocol cut off the account of the Australian so [they lost contact]. However [the minor's] Facebook account was still there and we found information from her Facebook account. It was already furnished to us by the Anti-Cybercrime Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ)," Acio said.

DOJ operatives conducted surveillance in the suspect's supposed meeting place with the minor in Pampanga. An operative posed as a friend of Gholamreza’s and negotiated with the minor for about PhP 2,000 to facilitate a supposed meeting with the Australian.

"Then the minor together with the family, ang sabi ng mother niya, will be the one to pick up the money. So on that same day, pinaradahan namin lahat ng Western Union. True enough the family of the minor appeared. There and then, we rescued the minor together with her parents and grandmother," Acio said.

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