DFA brings home 27 sex trafficking victims from Malaysia

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DAVAO CITY (September 23) — The Philippine Embassy repatriated on Wednesday 27 Filipina who were earlier rescued from a sex trafficking syndicate operating in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

In a report, Ambassador Charles Jose said the victims were rescued on Aug. 15 after the Royal Malaysian Police raided the apartment where they were staying in Johor Bahru.

A Filipino caretaker of the apartment was arrested but was later released after determining he was not involved in the trafficking of the women.

During the interview conducted by the Embassy representatives and the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC), the victims said they were trafficked to Malaysia and Singapore in four batches between June and July.

The victims revealed, they were recruited in the Philippines to be so-called “promodizers” selling liquor to customers in four establishments in Singapore.

They said they did this on a commission basis but were made to do sexual services as well.

Jose revealed, “The women were mostly recruited through social media for work in Singapore, but were told that they will enter and exit the country from Malaysia but were there only on tourist visas.”

Jose reminded Filipinos wishing to work in Malaysia to be wary of job offers from recruiters who will have them enter the country as tourists but with the promise of securing work visas for them upon arrival.

In a press statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) warns Filipinos seeking jobs abroad against sex trafficking syndicates using social media to offer work in Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries.

“We urge our kababayan to think twice before applying for the various job opportunities abroad that are being offered online,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said.

“There are numerous cases of Filipino jobseekers who apply for these online job offers but end up in virtual bondage in a number of countries abroad,” Secretary Cayetano said.

The Secretary said Filipinos who want to work abroad should first check job offers with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) or the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) before applying for them.-newsline.ph

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