15 potential human trafficking victims rescued

ZAMBOANGA. Authorities have rescued 15 potential victims of human trafficking at the port of Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi, on Friday, June 21. A photo handout shows the rescued potential victims taken to the Maritime Police Station for profiling and were later turned over to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development in Bongao.
ZAMBOANGA. Authorities have rescued 15 potential victims of human trafficking at the port of Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi, on Friday, June 21. A photo handout shows the rescued potential victims taken to the Maritime Police Station for profiling and were later turned over to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development in Bongao. (SunStar Zamboanga)

AUTHORITIES have rescued 15 potential victims of human trafficking in the province of Tawi-Tawi, the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) said Sunday, June 23.

The NFWM said the potential victims were rescued aboard three commercial vessels on Thursday, June 20, and Friday, June 21, at the port of Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi province.

The NFWM said the rescued potential victims of human trafficking include nine males and six females. The youngest is a 14-year-old boy and the oldest is a 52-year-old man.

The rescued potential victims are from the following places: Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte; Butuan City; Molave, Zamboanga del Sur; Panamao, Sulu; Pandami, Sulu; Patikul, Sulu; and, Talipao, Sulu.

The NFWM said they are en route to Sarawak, Sabah via the province of Tawi-Tawi without the necessary documents for legal work and travel abroad.

Rosabella D. Sulani, head of Bongao Municipal Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking (Miacat), said they were potential illegal entrants and vulnerable to human trafficking due to their lack of legal documentation.

Sulani said the potential victims were promised employment opportunities when they arrive at their destination.

The rescued individuals were brought to the Tawi-Tawi Maritime Police Station for profiling and were then turned over to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development Office in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi for counseling and stress debriefing. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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