Task force foils human trafficking attempt

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Thursday, August 21, 2014


THE Sea-Based Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force have foiled another human trafficking attempt when they intercepted 24 would-be victims in Zamboanga City.

The Philippine Center on Transnational Crime-Western Mindanao Field Office said the victims were intercepted Monday at the city’s local wharf as they were about to board a commercial vessel bound for Malaysia.

Monday’s human trafficking attempt was the second that was foiled by the multi-agency task force for this month. The first was last August 4.

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The task force did not release the identities of the would-be victims except for saying that they came from Basilan, Sulu, Iloilo, and Metro Manila.

Some of the would-be victims, especially those from Basilan, have already returned home, while the rest were placed under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The task force said the would-be victims told the authorities that they will visit their families and look for jobs in Malaysia.

The task force added they were not allowed to board the commercial vessel bound for Malaysia since they only carry passports and did not have an invitation from families or a working permit from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency.

The authorities have tightened its watch at the local wharf after it was discovered that the Zamboanga City port is being used as jump-off point by illegal recruiters.

A commercial ferry plies the Zamboanga-Malaysia route via Sandakan, Sabah, and vice-versa ones a week. The ferry is home-ported in this city. (Bong Garcia)

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