Tuesday Mar, 28 2023 12:24:15 AM

15 human trafficking victims rescued in Tawi-Tawi

TIMRA Reports • 12:45 PM Tue Feb 14, 2023
John M. Unson
 The human trafficking victims are to be returned soon to their hometowns. (From WestMinCom)

COTABATO CITY - Authorities rescued in separate operations over the weekend 15 human trafficking victims bound for Malaysia without passports, promised with good employment there by recruiters.  

Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, and Army Lt. Gen. Roy Galido of the Western Mindanao Command separately told reporters here Tuesday that the victims are now in the custody of the social welfare office of the local government unit in Bongao municipality.

Bongao is the capital town of Tawi-Tawi, a component-province of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The human trafficking victims, among them three children brought by mothers hoping for employment in Malaysia, were together in two small boats from Zamboanga City, the M/V Trisha Kerstin and M/V Ever Queen of Pacific.

Combined personnel of the 7th and 12th Marine Battalions, the Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Office and the Regional Maritime Unit-BARMM intercepted the two boats while approaching Bongao from Zamboanga City.

In separate statements, the social welfare office of Bongao and the headquarters here of the Bangsamoro regional police said the 15 persons rescued, ten of them females, were promised by recruiters good paying jobs in a poultry in Papar and in an oil palm plantation in Semporna, both in Malaysia.

Two of their recruiters, initially identified only as Gina and Marvin, had reportedly assured to have their passports processed while working abroad. 

The duo is now subject of an extensive manhunt by intelligence agents of units under WestMinCom and the Police Regional Office-9.


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