Two detained in Philippines in online child abuse raid

MANILA - Four minors have been rescued and two suspects detained in the Philippines following a raid on an apartment where children were made to disrobe for Internet cameras, the judicial officials said on Wednesday.

The Manila raid followed a tip-off from the United States Department of Homeland Security, said Mr Dante Bonoan, anti-human trafficking division chief of the justice department's National Bureau of Investigation.

"The exploited minors were asked to show their sex parts to their clients," he told reporters, adding that the website's paid subscribers were mostly from the United States, Canada and European countries.

Police say the Philippines is a key centre of the fast-growing global industry that streams live images of children forced to commit sex acts for paedophiles abroad, with thousands of children in the impoverished nation abused.

Police in Britain, Australia and the Philippines announced last month that they had jointly dismantled a paedophile ring that streamed live sexual abuse of Filipino children as young as six over the web. In some cases, the victims' parents were involved.

The international operation rescued 15 victims aged between six and 15, while 29 people were arrested. More than 700 other suspects were being investigated, according to Britain's National Crime Agency.

Mr Bonoan said two persons suspected of running the Manila apartment operation were detained, but no details about them were given.

The authorities also seized laptops, desktop computers, cameras, and other gadgets, he added.