War against human trafficking nets 64 more would-be victims PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 16:44

A total of 64 would-be victims of human trafficking were rescued  by law enforcers at a private wharf in Baliwasan Seaside last Monday night.
The rescue came after the Philippine Coast Guard Zamboanga Station (PCGZS) received an information  on Friday last week that 64 persons would be boarding a motorlaunch going to Taganak Island,Tawi-Tawi.

The motorlaunch was the subject of clearance by the PCGZS. The 64 persons include 14 females, 31 males and nine minors. Most of them are  from Luzon and  Visayas.
The Coast Guard had suspected that the 64 persons who would board the vessel were illegally recruited. They evaluated the information they received and passed it to the Zamboanga Seabased Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force( ZSBATTF). 

Thereafter, ZSBATTF convened its members and operatives of the PCGZS, Philippine Center on Transnational Mindanao Field Office led by Supt. Celso L. Bael, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-9 led by Sr. Supt. Mario Rariza, the Zamboanga City Police Office and personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. After the meeting, they swooped down on the wharf in Baliwasan Seaside and rescued the 64 would-be victims.

Initial investigation disclosed that most of the 64 were recruited to work as domestic helpers and other skilled jobs in Sandakan, Malaysia. The rest were invited by their relatives who are already working in Malaysia.

The rendezvous place for the 64 was Taganak Island in Tawi-Tawi.
Most of the victims have no passport.

It was further learned that before the 64 boarded the motorlaunch, they were instructed by their recruiter to board a banca or pumpboat to proceed to Varadero de Recodo on Saturday where the motorlaunch was standing by waiting for the clearance of PCGZS in going to Taganak.

The 64 would-be victims are now under the custodial care of Visayan Forum. They were given counseling and assistance before sending them back to their home provinces. — Allen Abastillas