Alleged Brit pedophile held for Dumaguete cybersex trade

17 October 2008

A British national may face deportation proceedings for allegedly operating a cybersex ring in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

An e-mail tip-off from an informant named only as "T. Johnson" sent officials of the Bureau of Immigration from Manila in search of a British man accused of befriending minors and taking nude pictures and videos of them.

Bureau officials said Richard Holden has been in the country for three years. His modus operandi is to befriend young girls aged between 12 and 16.

The suspects will invite the girls to his home and orders them to take their clothes off while at his room. He then takes pictures and videos of the girls without their clothes on.

Arresting officials, however, said they face a quandary since no one has come forward to file a formal complaint against the suspect.

Ansari Macaayan of the BI said that they can only cite Holden for violating the country's immigration laws since he has exceeded the maximum period of stay as a foreigner.

Allan Martinez, the suspect's lawyer, meanwhile, said they will file a complaint to question the warrantless arrest.

Some girls who accompanied Holden to the police precinct, meanwhile, said they are the suspect's friends, adding that they have no information regarding the accusations against the British national.

A woman named Mae Amiron, on the other hand, told ABS-CBN Dumaguete that she has been Holden's friend for the past two years.

She said that the allegations against the foreigner are not true since he devotes his time to collecting paintings and building hydro-plane models.

She also showed the room in Holden's home that did not contain a computer or camera used in the alleged nude video and photography sessions.

The woman, however, failed to come up with an explanation regarding Holden's nature of business. She said that as far as she knows, Holden is a tourist and is living off his pension.

Amiron defended Holden from the accusations, adding that he respects the man so much. In fact, she said that her younger sister works as Holden's maid.

The bureau, meanwhile, is investigating the identity of the informant named T. Johnson.

A deeper background checkl on Holden and his associates is also underway. With a report from Vera Leigh Lasam, ABS-CBN Dumaguete

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