ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/11 January) – The Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) rescued on Thursday 45 human trafficking victims, including some women, at a private wharf in this city.
Assistant City Prosecutor Darlene Pajarito, SBATTF chairperson, disclosed the victims were rescued while they were waiting for the arrival of a wooden-hulled ferry that would transport them to Taganak Island in Tawi-Tawi.
Taganak Island is one of the islands comprising Tawi-Tawi’s 5th class municipality of Turtle Islands.
From Taganak Island, Pajarito said the victims will board another watercraft that would take them to Sandakan, Sabah in Malaysia.
They were rescued following three days of surveillance that was launched after the task force received information that a group of people was scheduled to depart here going to Malaysia, Pajarito said.
Some of the victims were recruited from Manila, Zamboanga City and from the nearby provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte, she said.
Some of those rescued were recruited to work in a construction firm in Malaysia, Pajarito said.
The rescued victims were turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (MindaNews)