Task force rescues 12 trafficking victims

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/25 March) – The multi-agency Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force rescued over the weekend 12 would-be victims of human trafficking in this city, officials said.

Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro, officer-in-charge of Zamboanga City Police Office, said the rescue came after a concerned resident tipped off the authorities about the presence of the would-be victims in one of the residence in Barangay Putik, this city.

Casimiro said the 12 individuals arrived around midnight at Phase II of A and W subdivision in Putik.

He said six of them are from Palawan and the other six from Tawi-Tawi. The oldest in the group is 40 years old while the youngest is 19 years old.

Chief Insp. Alexander Lorenzo, chief of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime-Western Mindanao Field Office, said they were recruited by a certain Ali to work as construction workers in Malaysia.

Lorenzo said they possess passports but do not have work permits issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

He said the victims were placed under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development for counseling and eventual return to their respective home provinces. (MindaNews)