A WOMAN who has been tagged as the country’s ‘‘Sextortion Queen’’ and her pal were arrested by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group in Bulacan Thursday morning, PNP-ACG director Senior Superintendent Reczon Tito T. Acabado announced yesterday. Acabado said the suspects identified as Maria Cecilia Caparas-Regalachuelo alias ‘Cecille Caparas’ and Mark Andrey Rafols were tracked down in Norzagaray town 9 a.m. Thursday and arrested on the strength of warrants of arrest for violation of Republic Act 9208 or Qualified Trafficking in Persons and Section 10A of RA 7610 or the Child Protection Policy issued by Judge Sita Jose Clemente of the Malolos City Regional Trial Court Branch 16.
In a report to PNP chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa, the official said that the two suspects were arrested in line with their operation codenamed ‘Oplan Strikeback 2’ aimed at arresting sextortion activities in the country.
‘Sextortion’ activities in the country has earned the Philippines the nasty tag of being the ‘Sextortion Capital’ of the world in the past prompting the PNP-ACG to launch massive operations to bust these syndicates with the help of their foreign counterparts. The PNP-ACG had also launched programs to lecture children and parents on the dangers ‘kids face online.’
‘Sextortion’ in the country has been described as a form of blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors or money from the victim with the social media and text messages oftenly being used as the source of the sexual material and the means to share it.
In the country, ‘sextortion’ rings are composed of people who extort from targets with nude image of themselves they shared on the Internet through sexting. They are later coerced into performing sexual acts with the person doing the extorting or are coerced into posing or performing sexually on camera, thus producing hardcore pornography.
Acabado said that the suspects who usually use female accounts are known for engaging foreign nationals in online chats spiced with sex languages. They later invite their victims to go live via web cameras and persuade them to perform sex acts.
Unknown to the victims, their acts are being recorded by the syndicate and the recordings are being used later to extort money from the targets and threatening them that they will upload or distribute their lewd video or photos thru the internet if they will fail to heed their demand for money.
“It is very alarming that sextortion activities still exist in the country and the Philippines is one of the top countries with high record of sextortion,” said Acabado as he encouraged parents, local officials and members of the community to report similar illegal activities to their office or the nearest police station.