Philippine immigration authorities set to deport convicted British sex offender

Dennis Jay Santos
Davao City, Philippines
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Philippine immigration authorities set to deport convicted British sex offender Authorities escort arrested cybersex suspect Anselmo Ico (center) after he was presented to the media at a news conference in Manila, March 9, 2018. Officials said Norwegian and U.S. authorities had helped the Philippines capture Ico, who allegedly exploited children into joining sex shows with him then showing the lewd video online to paying foreign clients.
[Bullit Marquez/AP]

Filipino authorities have arrested and are set to deport a convicted British sex offender from the southern Philippines for allegedly running a child sex website, they said Thursday.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said John Crotty, 64, was placed on an immigration blacklist effectively barring him from re-entering the country. The British Embassy declined to comment on the arrest.

“These predators pose a serious threat to our women and children and there is no place for them here.” Tansingco said, adding they would prioritize the arrest and deportation of sex offenders preying on vulnerable victims online.

Crotty had moved in February to the Philippines, a nation where child molesters flock to, having spent nearly a decade in a British prison, officials had said. He was arrested two weeks ago at his apartment in the city of Tangub, a remote area in the southern Mindanao region.

Immigration intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. said in a statement that gathered evidence showed Crotty had distributed “obscene photos of underage Filipino girls” through his website and social media accounts.

A report released in May by the United States-based International Justice Mission identified the Philippines as a “global hotspot” for sexual exploitation of children in cyberspace, with cases rising three-fold over the past three years, or during the pandemic.

It noted that 149 of every 10,000 Internet Protocol (IP) addresses linked to child sexual exploitation in 2017 originated in the Philippines – three times higher than the rate of 43 of every 10,000 in 2014.

UNICEF, in 2020, reported a 260 percent increase in reports of online child abuse materials from March to May when the Philippines was under a strict lockdown. The United Nations agency warned there was a growing market for the production and distribution of sexual abuse materials such as videos and photographs.

In February last year, an American named Easton Scot Sanderson, 33, and three of his female companions were detained on suspicion of operating a cybersex ring in Angeles, a city north of Manila.  If convicted, the four suspects face a maximum sentence of six years in prison for each count.

And in 2018, a court in Cagayan de Oro, a city in the southern Philippines, sentenced an Australian man, Peter Gerard Scully, and his Filipina partner to life in prison for operating a cybersex ring that abused children.

Jeoffrey Maitem in Cotabato City, southern Philippines, contributed to this report.


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