LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Australian, British and U.S. law enforcement officials said they busted a pedophile ring run out of Philippines, and arrested 17 Britons.
The two-year investigation, Operation Endeavor, spanned 12 countries and focused on a pedophile ring in which children were brought to a house in the Ibabaon slum in the Philippines to be abused while being recorded, the Independent reported Thursday. The video would then be broadcast as a live stream to customers all over the world, some of whom paid fees around $21.
Of the 17 British people arrested over the course of the two years, five were convicted, nine investigations were ongoing, one faces no further action and two are dead, the newspaper said.
Three other investigations include 733 suspects, 139 of whom are British, the BBC reported.
"Extreme poverty, the increasing availability of high-speed Internet and the existence of a vast and comparatively wealthy overseas customer base has led to organized crime groups exploiting children for financial gain," the National Crime Agency said of the bust.