May 22, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

6 trafficking victims rescued from Myanmar

SIX Filipino victims of human trafficking syndicates in Myanmar were rescued by Philippine officials after escaping to Thailand.

Officials led by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) Chairman Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said the six Filipinos, four females and two males, managed to escape their abductors while they had to endure a tortuous journey by land from Myanmar to Thailand where they were eventually rescued.

The six Filipinos, whose names were withheld for security reasons, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on May 11, 2023. They were rescued through the coordinated efforts of the Office of the Police Attaché in Thailand and the PAOCC. The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the Philippine Women and Children Protection Center (PNP WCPC) provided the victims with the necessary legal, medical and psychological aid.

The victims said they were recruited in the Philippines through social media and were made to believe that they will be working in Thailand as customer service representatives. But upon arriving in Thailand they were brought to Myawaddy, Myanmar where they were made to work in a love scam and cryptocurrency operations.

Through the efforts of one of the victims, they were able to contact Police Col. Dominador Matalang, the police attaché in Bangkok. Matalang then sought the assistance of Undersecretary Gilberto DC Cruz, the Executive Director of PAOCC, who in turn dispatched one personnel to coordinate the rescue of the said victims.

Cruz said he acted swiftly to assist the distressed Filipinos bearing in mind the stern directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to combat the criminal groups perpetrating labor trafficking.

The six Filipinos had to endure a tortuous journey by land from KK Park and Century Park Myawaddy to the border crossing of Myanmar and Thailand. They then crossed the Moi River by boat to the other side of the border where they had to travel for another thirty minutes to a hotel in Mae Sot City, Thailand.

They then stayed for a night in the said hotel before travelling for another eight hours to Bangkok, were they stayed for a further four days to process their travel documents. They claimed the syndicate had taken all of their passports, personal items and other belongings.

A day after they arrived in Manila, the six were presented to Bersamin who extended some financial assistance to help them start anew. Likewise, the Executive Secretary tasked the PAOCC, PNP-WCPC and IACAT to properly investigate the case to identify the recruiters in the Philippines for prosecution.