|“In impoverished communities, live streaming offers a financial incentive for criminal networks, which creates a commercial element for online sexual exploitation of children,” the agency explained.(Photo by: Inquirer PH)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Authorities have detected an increase in financial transactions related to the online sexual exploitation of children in the country in recent months as the economic challenges brought about the coronavirus pandemic drove more people into child pornography.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council announced in a study released on Wednesday, detailing the high threat level posed by this illegal activity on Philippine society, and noting that present financial safeguards and regulatory controls are insufficient to counter this practice.“Corollary to several news reports about the increasing number of cases in the Philippines brought about by the pandemic, a surge in the number of [suspicious transaction report] submissions was observed for the months of March and May 2020, with 5,512 and 5,634 suspicious transactions reported, respectively,” the report said.
This compared with only 110 and 597 suspicious transaction reports during the same period in 2019.Similarly, the increase in numbers of transactions flagged by financial institutions for January and February 2020 can also be linked to the pandemic in conjunction with the efforts of the AMLC, other relevant agencies, and the private sector in spreading awareness on child pornography, the agency said. The report also suggested that global travel restrictions brought about by the pandemic pushed many would-be sexual predators and offenders online.(Inquirer PH)