13 new trafficking victims intercepted PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 11:47

Thirteen would-be victims of human trafficking were intercepted by operatives of the Zamboanga City  Sea-Based Anti- Human Trafficking Task Force (ZSBATTF) at the local wharf around 3:00 p.m. Monday.

Chief Insp. Alexander Lorenzo, chief of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime  Western Mindanao Field Office, disclosed that those intercepted were 11 women and two men. Three of the women came from Manila. The rest are from Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Mountain Province, North Cotabato and Jolo Sulu.

Loenzo said that the would-be victims were intercepted at the  Overseas Passengers Assistance Center ( OPAC ) before boarding a commercial vessel bound for Sabah, Malaysia. During the processing of their documents at the Overseas Passengers Assistance Center, OPAC operatives discovered that  the passports of four women from Mountain Province, Zamboanga del sur and North Cotabato have fake stamping from the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation.

The nine others have many alibis and complicated reasons in going to Sabah, Malaysia  like  visiting their family , relatives and others are touring.

OPAC also asked if they have a working permit or employer’s working permit in Malaysia or a permit from  the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, but all of them could not produce such documents.

After evaluating and examining all their statements and passport,  ZSBATTF stopped the 13 from boarding the vessel.

They were brought to Port Halfway House for temporary shelter. The ZSBATTF is composed of BID,  PCTCWMFO, Department of Justice, Visayan Forum and Task Force Zamboanga. — Allen Abastillas