13 human trafficking victims bound for Malaysia intercepted in Zambo port

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/07 August) ) – Thirteen victims of human trafficking were intercepted at the port by the inter-agency Sea-based Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) on Monday afternoon as they were about to depart for Malaysia.

Chief Insp. Alexander Lorenzo, chief of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime – Western Mindanao field office, said the victims were intercepted at the Overseas Passengers Assistance Center  at the port of Zamboanga.

Lorenzo did not identify the victims but said they come from the Mountain Province, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, and North Cotabato.

He said they were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

According to Lorenzo, the victims were intercepted after the OPAC personnel discovered that the passports of four of the 13 bore fake boarding stamp from the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation.

The  rest of the victims could not cite clear and valid reasons of their travel to Malaysia. Some of them claim ed they would go on tour while others said they would visit their relatives, he said.

The victims were intercepted as they were about to board a commercial ferry scheduled to depart for Ssndakan, Malaysia, he said. (MindaNews)