The long arms of the country’s premier investigative agency caught up with a Belgian national suspected of engaging in the trafficking of children, child abuse and child pornography in a northern town of Bohol.
NBI Director Atty. Virgilio Mendez, a Boholano ordered surveillance operations and arrest the Belgian suspect after human trafficking reports reached the NBI.
A team of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents caught “in flagrante delicto” a 76 year old Belgian national Prosper Slachmuylders allegedly naked and in a supine position with a similarly naked girl lying prone on top in Purok 2 Barangay Soom, Trinidad, Bohol during a raid conducted in the early morning of June 27, 2015.
Atty Czar Nuqui, Chief of the NBI’s Anti Human Trafficking Division (AHTRAD), in an exclusive interview, told The Chronicle that more than a hundred pictures showing more than twenty young girls from Barangay Soom and neighboring barangays in different stages of undress were discovered in the room of the Belgian national.
A laptop found in the suspect’s room will undergo computer forensic procedures and protocol to determine if the pictures were uploaded and sent to thousands of pedophiles world wide.
Four sachets of suspected shabu, an improvised tooter, bottles of beer and brandy including a “samurai” were also found, all littered in the rented house, according to Nuqui.
Slachmuylders who claims to be a former district mayor of Berschem, a southern district of the municipality and city of Antwerp, Belgium in 2001 to 2007 is now in the custody of the NBI.
“Bohol is prone to human trafficking because it is a tourist area with foreigners roaming the province under the pretext of seeing the tourist spots but actually on the look-out for nubile girls, an easy prey because of poverty”.
“This is a frame-up and orchestrated by my former girlfriend who wants to get hold of my properties”, the Belgian told The Chronicle before his mug shots were taken by the NBI.
“The agents planted the drugs. I don’t even smoke and I have a heart disease. My ex girlfriend placed the pictures to embarass me. What’s wrong with those pictures? They are private”, fumed Slachmuylders who resented pictures taken by DYRD reporter Willie Maestrado.
Armed with a search warrant issued by RTC Branch 52 Presiding Judge Irma Zita Masamayor, the 7 man NBI team swooped down on the rented house of Slachmuylders at 12:30 in the morning of Saturday, June 27, 2015.
A video taken before the NBI agents conducted the search showed Slachmuylders embracing a 17 year old girl after a curtain in the room of the Belgian remained open.
Two of the girls who were at the NBI satellite office in Barangay Dao, Tagbilaran City told The Chronicle that “at times our private parts were fondled by Slackmuylders and were made to pose naked before the camera but he could not make it with us because of his age”.
One 16 year old victim narrated to The Chronicle her ordeal “I was made to face the camera naked and my private parts fondled by Slachmuylder” with chocolates a few hundred pesos and drinks given to her after the so called sessions.
According to the victim, Slachmuylders and her father were “close friends” but apparently her father was not aware of the Belgian’s activities with the young girls from the barangays.
Five girls who were brought to the NBI satellite office in Barangay Dao, Tagbilaran City, four were identified among the hundreds of pictures of naked girls by Soom Barangay Captain Rolando Ibale.
“I was shocked when I saw the pictures of the girls from my barangay”, exclaimed Ibale as he told The Chronicle that “Slachmuylder was a generous person and was an active participant and donor of barangay affairs”.
Because of Slachmuylder’s good behavior, Ibarle considered him a “person above suspicion” until his arrest on Saturday.
PERSONA NON GRATA
But a petition signed by 34 concerned barangay residents told a different story. Sent to President Benigno Aquino lll, the petitioners told the President that the Belgian “always engaged in hiring women mostly minors inviting them to enter his private room in his house and induce them to remove their clothes and show to him their nude and private part of their bodies and even do an indecent , immoral, unethical and unlawful act”.
Girls who refuse to remove their clothes were threatened by Slackmuylders with physical harm with the use of a samurai, the petitioners said.
Portrayed by petitioners as a trouble maker, the Belgian national was alleged to be “harassing some members of the family of the true landowner of the land he resided and neighbors in a constant and repeated way creating an unpleasant or hostile situation that disturb the peace and tranquility of our place we live in”.
Copies of the petition for the immediate deportation of Slachmuylders were furnished to Siegfred Mison, Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.
Ibarle was with the three girls who arrived from Trinidad late yesterday evening together with their parents who were still in a state of shock when informed by the NBI and was shown pictures of their naked daughters.
A parent broke down in tears after narrating to The Chronicle her pain and shock when she saw the pictures of her daughter topless “I was speechless and until now I did not tell my husband and the boyfriend of my daughter what I saw”.
Her daughter, according to the distraught mother was employed as house helper by the Belgian who paid her tuition at the Soom Integrated School.
Barangay Soom with a population of 1716 according to the 2010 population census was home for five years of the Belgian after his house in Barangay Camambugan, Ubay was stoned by irate residents.
The Chronicle learned that Slachmuylder was a holder of a Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV) but was changed to temporary visitor visa after he withdrew his deposit to pay for an illness.
On 2011, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development, Bohol Crisis Intervention Center Acting Manager Donabelle Mante, Slachmuylder was accused of child abuse by the Tagbilaran City Police but the case was dropped by the City Prosecutors Office after the parents of the two minors who were with him suddenly withdrew the case against the Belgian national.
Cases for violation of provisions of RA 9208 or the “Anti Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, RA 7610 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” and RA 9775 known as the “Anti Child Pornography Act of 2009 will be filed by the NBI against Prosper Slachmuylder on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at the Provincial Prosecutors Office, according to Nuqui.
The filing of an additional case for content related offenses under the Cybersex provisions of RA 10175 known as “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012” will follow depending on the outcome of forensic examination of the laptop of Slachmuylder for incriminating evidence, according to the NBI. (CMV)