British cops have helped track down a paedophile – dubbed Europe’s most wanted online child sex offender – following a seven-month international manhunt.
Nelson Siacor Torayno, 32, was seized at a flat in the city of Cebu in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines after a seven-month investigation.
Torayno was the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation’s (Europol) most wanted online child sex offender.
Pictures Credit: AsiaWire AsiaWire/International Justice Mission
Cops claim he is the source of most of the child sexual exploitation materials available on the dark web monitored by the European Union.
Torayno was arrested by officers from the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Centre and the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division.
Cops also rescued eight children, between the ages of three and six, from Torayno’s flat who they believe were being abused for child porn.
Police had previously raided his home in the remote village of Luz where they found thousands of photographs and videos of children being sexually abused by adults.
The arrest happened in April but has only just been confirmed so as not to jeopardise ongoing investigations.
The news was released jointly by the International Justice Mission and the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre.
They revealed that the investigation into Torayno began when the Queensland Police Service in Australia notified the Philippines about sensitive photos of Filipino children online.
The UK’s National Crime Agency was also involved in the investigation.
Police Major Michael Virtudazo, leader of the PNP-Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre, said Torayno was considered the European Union’s top child sexual exploitation criminal.
“The Australian Federal Police have investigated several European paedophiles who are active on the dark web. Based on their findings, their common denominator was Torayno,” he said.
NBI agent Denver Louie Cabaluna said identifying Torayno was hard as they only had Torayno’s dark web alias to go on.
“There was not enough information as to his whereabouts before he was identified. What we only had was his account name in the dark web. Since he was just using an alias we had to conduct a thorough computer surveillance,” he said.
Cops managed to find a Facebook account under Torayno’s alias which led them to other social media accounts and his real identity, he added.
Mr Cabaluna said Torayno was originally from the city of Iligan, in the Northern Mindanao region of the Philippines, where he had studied ICT at university.
“According to him, he was only 14 years old when he started his illegal activity,” Mr Cabaluna added.
The children found in the suspect’s flat are now receiving counselling from social workers.
Torayno is now held at the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Centre in Cebu City facing multiple serious charges.
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