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Women, girls trafficked to POGO employees through chat apps, QR codes

An online prostitution scheme traffics women, including underage girls, exclusively to Chinese POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator) employees using a messaging app and QR codes.

In Emil Sumangil's Wednesday report on 24 Oras, two-year POGO employee and former customer "Anson" revealed that a chat group in the app was used for the transactions.

"You just have to scan the bar code, papasok sa cellphone mo iyon, aantayin mo na i-accept nila. Pag in-accept nila, pasok ka na," said Anson, a Filipino-Chinese.

"Mag me-message sila sa iyo, sasabihin nila do you need a massage, ganon ganon, tatanungin mo magkano, ganito ganyan, the usual," he added.

Anson further said that it was not easy to make transactions, especially if the customer did not understand Chinese.

Once the transaction is made, the client will meet up with the victim in Makati.

"Pagbigay mo ng payment sa kanya, 'yun na. You will just have to wait for the woman to come to you and she will be the one to assist you to where you are going. Kasama na kwarto doon," he said.

The women, ages 17 to 20,  were bought at prices ranging from P10,000 to P15,000.

"Legit 'yang mga 'yan at itong mga ito na nandito, lalo na 'pag bata at maganda, mas mahal at mas mataas ang presyo," Anson said while showing pictures of the victims.

According to the report, authorities have raided several prostitution dens linked to the online prostitution scheme. They have also written to some companies to take down selected chat groups.

In January, Senator Risa Hontiveros revealed the scheme in which women, including underage girls, were being ordered like food from menus, and also supposedly catering to Chinese nationals working for POGOs.

The Philippine National Police's Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) said that it is coordinating with other agencies on the matter.

"Sa ngayon meron kasi tayong mga binabantayan na mga social media group chats. According sa ating source ay madalas nagaganap 'yung transaction sa online prostitution," Police Captain Jeck Robin Gammad, of the PNP-ACG, said. — Joahna Lei Casilao/BM, GMA News