Recruits knew where they’re going: pimp

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014


A HUMAN trafficking suspect said her recruits knew where they were going and that they didn’t have a problem with it.

“Okay ra man nila (They’re fine with it).”

Stephanie Reynes is accused of recruiting 11 people, four of them minors, for prostitution.

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While she regretted doing it, 24-year-old Reynes said the victims knew from the start what they were in for.

Police yesterday charged Reynes, of Barangay Tipolo in Mandaue City, with violation of Republic Act 10364, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons of 2012, before the Office of the Mandaue City Prosecutor.

She said that since she finished second year high school only, recruiting women for exploitation was the easiest job that she could think of raise her two children.

Reynes said that one of the victims is a classmate of hers. She said the victims knew they were recruited for prostitution.

Reynes was arrested last Feb. 7 by the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, International Justice Mission and the Department of Social Welfare and Development 7 inside a restaurant in Mandaue City.

Nine of the 11 complainants executed their affidavit to support the filing of charges against Reynes.

One of the complainants, 16-year-old Denise (real name withheld), said she met Reynes, whom she called “Ate Paning,” through a gay friend in January 2014.

On Feb. 7, Denise said, she and four other women met Reynes in a restaurant inside a mall in Mandaue City.

Reynes told them they would have a “dinner meeting” with a businessman named James.

“She (Reynes) also assured us that there was nothing risky about the meet-up because we were with some other girls,” said Denise in her affidavit.

Denise carried Reynes’ bag on their way to the mall.

She noticed a mobile phone, a laptop, beauty kit and envelopes containing condoms inside the bag.

When they arrived at the mall, Denise saw seven other women.

They went to a nearby restaurant to have dinner with James.

James gave Reynes a paper bag containing “pasalubong.”

Denise said Reynes handed over to James white envelopes containing names of women believed to be prostitutes.

James’ driver later put the money inside Reynes’ bag supposedly as payment for the women she brought.

They were then told to ride in James’ van.

When they were about to stand up, the raiding team rounded them up.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 11, 2014.

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