13 potential human trafficking victims rescued

ZAMBOANGA. Authorities rescue 13 potential victims of trafficking in persons in Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi on Friday, April 19. A photo handout shows the rescued potential victims that were taken to the assistance desk of the Maritime Police and later turned over to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development for proper disposition.
ZAMBOANGA. Authorities rescue 13 potential victims of trafficking in persons in Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi on Friday, April 19. A photo handout shows the rescued potential victims that were taken to the assistance desk of the Maritime Police and later turned over to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development for proper disposition. (SunStar Zamboanga)

AUTHORITIES have rescued 13 potential victims of trafficking in persons in the province of Tawi-Tawi, the police said Sunday, April 21, 2024.

The Police Regional Office-Bansamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR), said the potential victims were rescued around 6:45 a.m. Friday, April 19, at the port of Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi.

The PRO-BAR said the victims were rescued after authorities received information that a group of persons was traveling to Sabah, Malaysia via Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

“Acting upon said report, the responding team immediately verified the information and rescued the 13 passengers who are potential victims of trafficking in person,” the PRO-BAR said in a statement.

“They were bound to travel to Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia and when asked for legal documents, they failed to present any,” the PRO-BAR added.

The rescued individuals were placed under the custody of the Municipal Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking (Miacat) and Ministry of Social Services and Development for counseling, stress debriefing, and assistance.

Meanwhile, the Tawi-Tawi Police Provincial Office and other concerned government agencies are now facilitating the safe return of the potential trafficking in person victims to their families and places of origin.

Police Brigadier General Prexy Tanggawohn, PRO-BAR acting director, commended the swift response of the operating teams to rescue the potential trafficking in person victims.

Tanggawohn reaffirmed that PRO-BAR will continue to demonstrate efforts to put an end to human trafficking and make Barmm a safe place for all.

The potential human trafficking in persons were rescued by joint team of police, Philippine Coast Guard, Miacat, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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