ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/1 February) – The Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) has arrested two suspected human traffickers and rescued a female victim in this city last Wednesday, a police official said.
Chief Insp. Ariel Huesca, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer, identified the suspects as Sattar Ibno and Hadji Arraji Jammang Kammang alias Hadji Alex.
Huesca said the arrest of the two suspects also led them to discover that Kammang may have falsified his death to escape prosecution from six counts of murder and attempted murder filed against him in the past few years.
Huesca said it was also discovered that Kammang formerly owns M/L Wendelyn, which was frequently used to allegedly transport their recruited victims to Sabah, Malaysia.
The police official said that Kammang also owns a hotel along Governor Camins Avenue in this city.
He said the suspects were arrested Wednesday afternoon in Sitio Talabaan, Barangay Mercedes, this city, after month-long intelligence surveillance on their activities.
Huesca said the suspects are known “notorious human traffickers” operating in Region 9 or Western Mindanao, citing they recruit young girls from nearby provinces and promise them of good-paying jobs in Sabah.
He said the recruits, however, ended up exploited and forced to prostitution.
“The victims cannot even file a complaint since they were undocumented workers,” Huesca said.
He said a woman from Malabon City in Metro Manila was rescued when the task force arrested the suspects.
Huesca said the task force is conducting follow-up operations following information that there are still other victims recruited by the suspects that were kept in one of the places in this city.
Meanwhile, Huesca said that Kammang was involved in previous killings and warrants of arrest were issued against him for six counts of murder and attempted murder.
He said these cases were dismissed after an unidentified person has executed an affidavit and testified that Kammang was already dead.
He said that Kammang was also the prime suspect in the killing of Hadji Pambit Omar in Barangay Tetuan, this city, late last year. A woman was wounded after she was hit by a stray bullet during the incident.
Huesca said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-9 (CIDG-9) is conducting thorough investigation on the involvement of Kammang in the killings, “taking cognizance of the dismissed cases filed against him due to the affidavit executed by an individual who attested that he was already dead.”
He said the CIDG is set to revive the cases should the affiant will turn out to be non-existent and will make representation with the court concerned to set aside its first decision. (MindaNews)