OPERATIVES of the Police Station 11 have rescued 25 would-be victims of human trafficking in a west coast village in Zamboanga City, an official said Tuesday.

Superintendent Diomarie Albarico, Police Station 11 chief, said the rescue came after receipt of information that a wooden-hulled vessel loaded with would-be victims of human trafficking is set to depart from the city.

The would-be human trafficking victims were rescued by policemen, led by Senior Inspector Raul Mancenido, around 11:30 p.m. Monday aboard M/L Lucky Girl, which was moored at a private wharf in the village of Baliwasan.

Albarico said the vessel was scheduled to depart to the Municipality of Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi. From there, the vessel’s passengers will be taken to Sabah and to their respective destinations.

The Municipality of Turtle Islands is located at the southwestern tip of the country, at the edge of the international treaty limits separating the Philippines and Malaysia.

Albarico said the alleged recruiter identified only as a certain Asbi remained at large. He was not around when the rescue was made.

Albarico did not release the names of the would-be trafficking victims, but said among them were men and women ages 12 to 22. The victims were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for proper disposition.

The skipper of the vessel was placed under investigation.