Maritime policemen rescue 36 human trafficking victims in Tawi-Tawi

January 20, 2012 11:39 pm 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 20 – The Maritime Police operatives have rescued 36 victims of human trafficking aboard a commercial ferry in the province of Tawi-Tawi, an official said Friday.

Insp. Wilfredo Abellon, operations chief of the Maritime regional office, said the victims were rescued Wednesday in the town of Bongao, the capital of Tawi-Tawi province.

Abellon said the victims were rescued aboard a commercial ferry that came from this city and was on its way to Sandakan in Sabah, Malaysia.

The vessel was on a stopover when they rescued the victims, Abellon added.

He said the victims are composed of 27 males, nine females and a minor, who are from Maguindanao, Cotabato, Bicol, and other parts of the country.

He said the victims were immediately taken to this city and are now in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Investigation continues to unmask the recruiter of the group who was not in the vessel when the victims were rescued, Abellon said. (PNA) LAP/LAM/Teofilo P. Garcia/utb

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