The man, reported as being in his fifties, has been held on remand on suspicions of instigating child rape.
The man is suspected of having paid Filipino women to sexually assault children in front of their webcams, while he watched from home in Sweden.
“He has been sitting home in front of his computer, connected to the internet, and made contact with women in the Philippines,” said Liz Berglund of the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen)to Sveriges Radio (SR).
“He has paid them to get children, and then they’ve connected web cameras and then the women have, according to his demands, assaulted the children while he sat home watching.”
The children involved were often family members or neighbours of the women, who sometimes even took the kids out of school to perform when they were short of money.
This case is unique in Sweden, although police suspect that the crime itself is nothing new.
“This is the first time someone has been revealed in such a case in Sweden but he is probably not the first to do this.”
When probed as to why the remanded man hadn’t simply flown to the Philippines, Berglund explained it was likely a question of cost.
“It’s cheaper this way; you don’t need to pay the airfare. There are people in poor countries who are prepared to do these kind of things for money. When we ask them what they do with the money, they often answer ‘We buy rice’,” Berglund said.
The man was arrested at the end of May and has been on remand ever since.