Foreigner, partner nabbed, four rescued in ‘cybersex den’ raid

An operative of the CIDG talks to a foreigner who was arrested in a raid for alleged human trafficking at Barangay Candau-ay, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of CIDG-Negros Oriental)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A Norwegian national and his Filipina partner were arrested for alleged human trafficking during a raid of an alleged cybersex den at Barangay Candau-ay, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on Wednesday.

The operation also rescued four women, including a four-year-old child.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Hueca, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Negros Oriental, identified the suspects as Ronny Bratlistuen, 42, and his Filipina partner Jessebelle Cometa, 22.

CIDG operatives in coordination with the local police and the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) raided the house rented by the couple following a complaint from one of the rescued victims.

The raid was authorized by a search warrant.

Hueca said that a 27-year-old complainant reported to Dumaguete City Police Station on April 26 about the couple’s alleged cybersex operations.

The police station then endorsed the complaint to the CIDG which initiated a case-build up before the raid.

Law enforcers rescued the complainant and three other victims aged 23, 36, and 4 in four separate rooms inside the house.

Police recovered from the couple’s residence some objects used for sexual stimulation, six laptops, three passports, three notebooks, various documents, and a desktop computer allegedly used for the cybersex operations.

Hueca said that the couple has been allegedly engaging in the illegal activity for three years now in various municipalities in the province.

Then they stayed in Dumaguete City, where they operate for about a year now, he added.

He said that the complainant reported the couple’s activities to the police because she could not take it anymore.

According to the complainant, she was offered by Cometa, who is her friend, a job where she can earn P10,000 per week.

“But when she started working, she was surprised that she was only given P300 per week and was allegedly told to show her naked body and do sexual stimulation to their foreign clients online,” Hueca said.

The complainant also alleged that they were forced to use “shabu” before their performance, although no illegal drugs were seized during the operation except for a lighter and a strip of aluminum foil.

Hueca said that they are not yet sure if there were other female victims in the house since only four of them were seen during the raid.

He also said that the child is not directly involved in the alleged cybersex activities, although she told the police that she could sometimes hear her mother talking to someone in the adjacent room.

Charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003” in relation to RA 10175 or the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012” will be filed against the couple.

He said that they will further probe the extent of the couple’s operations to determine if they also engaged in other illegal activities in the province.

The rescued victims are now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).