80 women rescued from human trafficking attempt PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 March 2011 16:17

Eighty young women from the Visayas were rescued by an inter-agency task force yesterday at the Zamboanga International Airport in what is believed as a large scale human trafficking.

Supt. Celso L. Bael, chief of the Western Mindanao Field Office of the Police Philippine Center on Transnational Crimes, disclosed that prior to the rescue, he has received an information from PCTC National Director  Felizardo M. Serapio Jr. that several women from Region 6 had been recruited illegally and would be flying for Malaysia aboard a chartered plane from Zamboanga City Airport to Kota Kinabalu,  Malaysia.

Supt. Bael immediately called the Seabase Anti Trafficking Task Force ( SBATTF) and also coordinated with other government agencies to rescue the 80 women.

As fast as they could, Bael and men from other agencies rescued the 80 women at the airport.
It was found out during initial investigation that the plane tickets of the would-be victims were issued by a travel agency in Manila.

Seventy five of the 80 women are aged 19 to 25 years old. They were recruited separately by relatives in Region 6 and were told that they would be disguised as tourists.

During interview, the SBATTF found out they were not tourists but were recruited to work in Libya, Jordan and Lebanon. They were also required by their recruiters to have US$200 as show money.
The 80 rescued women are now safe under the care of the government.

The inter-agency task force is composed of SBATTF led by Atty. Ivy  Damayo, Zamboanga City Police Office Womens Desk, Bureau of Immigration and Deportation, Department of Welfare and Social Services, Visayan Forum and the PCTC Aviation Security Group. — Allen Abastillas