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Pinoys arrested in UAE for human trafficking PDF Print E-mail
Jul 22, 2010 at 05:25 AM

Some 17 Filipinos were arrested in United Arab of Emirates (UAE) earlier this month after it was discovered that they were allegedly operating a human trafficking syndicate, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

In a statement, the Foreign Affairs department reported that there are currently nine Filipino women under the Philippine Embassy’s custody in UAE after seeking shelter on July 13, having escaped the same syndicate whose members were arrested for human trafficking. Another victim is reportedly staying at the home of a friend in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Reports said that earlier this month, one of the Filipino victims, whose name has yet to be released, escaped the syndicate and immediately went to the Abu Dhabi police.

”Out of the 17 arrested, three women and one man were suspected of operating the syndicate,” the Foreign Affairs department said.
Nine victims, who were arrested with them, are currently sheltered at the Abu Dhabi Human Trafficking Center. Another four women were detained after they were suspected of voluntarily engaging in prostitution.

Operatives of the Abu Dhabi Criminal Investigation Division (CID) that headed the arrest of the Filipinos also said that they confiscated $18,000 and 12,128 UAE Dirham (about $3,314) in cash. An additional $14,754 was also discovered under the accounts of one of the suspects.

Col. Rashid Bursheed, head of the CID organized crime, said that the arrested suspects confessed to the charges and admitted that they forced the victims into prostitution after promising them jobs in the UAE.

“The CID is now investigating the sponsors who issued the tourist visas for the victims and a court hearing is yet to be scheduled,” the statement said.
Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Grace Princesa has already met with Bursheed on July 18 to talk about the case.

She also visited the trafficking center and the Al Wathba Central Prison to meet with the victims and the alleged operators. The ambassador is said to have provided assistance for both the suspects and the victims.

The Foreign Affairs department is recommending the blacklisting of the Filipino traffickers and referring this case to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

Also, the DFA has issued a stern warning to Filipinos who are engaging in the trafficking of their fellow countrymen, stressing that illegal recruiters and human traffickers “will be punished to the full extent of the law.”

The Foreign affairs department also continues to partner and cooperate with the IACAT to assist the trafficking victims, as well as to prosecute those behind illegal human trafficking.

Apply with recruiters

Meanwhile, the department also called on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to apply for jobs abroad through legally accredited recruitment agencies approved by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, or directly apply to their prospective employers or to the Consul General in the host countries.
The department made the call after another case of illegal recruitment was uncovered in Macau.

In a statement, the Foreign Affairs department said that they are continuing efforts to mitigate the rising number of victims of illegal recruitment in Macau.

Just last week, an illegal recruiter was arrested after 10 OFWs asked the assistance of the Consul General in Macau. The illegal recruiter allegedly promised jobs after the Filipinos paying hefty fees. --Bernice Camille V. Bauzon Reporter, Manila Times



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