4 Filipino women trafficked to Malaysia rescued by joint PH-Malaysian operatives PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 April 2012 14:06

Through joint efforts of the Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysian anti-trafficking authorities, four Filipino women were rescued this week from human trafficking in Malaysia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported.

DFA quoted reports of the Kuala Lumpur embassy that the four women were locked up and forced to work in a night club in Johor Bahru, which is in the Malaysian border with Singapore and about 220 kilometers away from Malaysia’s capital city.

The embassy lauded the quick action undertaken by Malaysian police. “We appreciate the swift action of the Malaysian police in rescuing our nationals. This is proof of the commitment and partnership of our two countries against human trafficking,” Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya said.

The unnamed victims claimed to be residents of Metropolitan Manila, ranging in age from 27 to 36 years. They were promised high-paying jobs by a certain Ramil Garcia, who escorted them all the way through Zamboanga, on to Sandakan in Sabah, with the promise of high-paying jobs.

In Sandakan, they were turned over to a Norminda Buko Whigan for “sale” to night club owners as customer service workers. The women knew the exact nature of their job only upon arrival in Sandakan. After a two-week stay in Sandakan and no offers from club owners there, the four Filipinas were transported by plane to Johor Bahru in West Malaysia on March 29 and offered to a certain club owner Emy Wong.

On April 18, Malaysian agents, accompanied by two embassy officials, proceeded to Johor Bahru in West Malaysia and raided Wong’s club. But neither Wong nor the women were to be found. The raiding team proceeded to Wong’s residence, where authorities found the Filipinos locked up.

Authorities freed the victims, but arrested Mrs. Wong’s husband. Emy Wong is being hunted.

A Malaysian judge has issued an interim protection order for the women who are now sheltered in a Malaysian facility. Arrangements for their repatriation to Manila is underway.

The embassy noted that Filipinos made to go to Malaysia through the Tawi-Tawi backdoor in southern Mindanao should be wary and imagine that without proper travel documents, they are in most likelihood being trafficked already.

Last March 30, a Singaporean national was convicted of two counts of human trafficking of two Filipino women and sentenced to three-year imprisonment for each conviction.