86 human smuggling victims rescued-A A +A
Monday, January 14, 2013
MANILA -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said that 86 suspected victims of human trafficking were rescued during two separate operations in Zamboanga City.
The Coast Guard Action Center (CGAC) in Manila said the interception took place last Thursday when a boarding team led by the Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) received information that there were two fast craft vessels along Petro Bay Wharf carrying suspected victims of human smuggling.
While conducting a mandatory pre-departure inspection inside M/L Nurhira, the boarding team was able to apprehend and rescued 50 passengers onboard consisting of 32 males and 18 females.
A follow-up operation with the help of Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) conducted to the second vessel M/L Fatimaraiza later resulted in the interception of another 36 would be victims of human trafficking and all of them were brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Processing Center for Displacement (PCDC) located at Barangay Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City.
During the investigation, the victims revealed that each of them paid P2,500 to a certain facilitator named “Abs” as payment for their trip bound for Sabah, Malaysia in exchange for unspecified work with good opportunities.
After the profiling, debriefing and counseling of the DSWD, all trafficking in persons were released and advised to go home to their respective residence within Zamboanga City while others opted to stay at DSWD. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/SDR/Sunnex)