Handicrafts store used as front for cybersex biz

15:54 Sep 9 2011 Biñan, Laguna

MANILA, Philippines - Here's a handicrafts store that sells more than just pottery, wood carvings and knitted items.
On Tuesday night, police arrested Marites Gomez Mercado for using her shop in Biñan, Laguna as a front for her cybersex business.
At Asian Personalized Handicrafts at the CDS Compound in Barangay Poblacion, agents offer to act out the sexual fantasies of online voyeurs, mostly foreigners, who buy their products.
"Mag-oopen sila ng kanilang Yahoo! Mail and then maghahanap sila ng ka-chat na foreigner, aalukin nila ng items kapalit ng kung anong gustong irequest ng foreigner," an informant told ABS-CBN News.

"Habang ka-chat ng mga customer 'yung empleyado ng handicraft ng establishment, pakikitaan sila ng nude photos at sex video na galing dun sa split cam na nakakabit sa server ng computer," Supt. Joel Cuaton Pernito, Biñan police chief, said.
Police are also set to investigate the involvement of the cybersex den's 10 "chat support agents." Asian Personalized Handicrafts was apparently looking to hire more staff, as shown in a job poster letter greeting people at the store's entrance.

Cybersex dens are a growing problem in the Philippines, lawmakers and social workers earlier said. Business groups have stressed that suchshould not be comparedto the country's flourishing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

"Commercial sex on the net is basically online porn and is not part of the offshoring industry," said Oscar Sañez, president and chief executive officer of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP). --, report from Francis Faulve, ABS-CBN News
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