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Thailand, Pampanga human trafficking cases probed

May 16, 2023 People's Journal 100 views

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday began two preliminary investigations involving human trafficking activities.

Six Filipinos, who were rescued in Thailand last week, filed sworn statements against their recruiters.

The victims, four of them females, were coerced into coughing up P300,000 each and were manhandled by their captors prior to their rescue.

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) coordinated with the Office of the Police Attaché in Thailand for their rescue.

Recruitment was done through social media, allegedly for employment in Thailand.

From there, they were taken across the Moei River, which borders Thailand and Myanmar, and to Myawaddy in southeastern Myanmar and northwest of Bangkok.

In Myanmar, they were holed up in a dormitory-type building and compelled to work as online cryptocurrency scammers.

In a news release on Monday, the Presidential Communications Office said the six arrived home on May 11.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin directed the PAOCC, Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and the Philippine Women and Children Protection Center to also investigate the case and provide legal, medical and psychological aid.

After escaping to Thailand, they contacted Col. Dominador Matalang, the police attaché in Bangkok and who sought the assistance of Undersecretary Gilberto DC Cruz, PAOCC executive director.

In the second case, prosecutors heard the testimony of witnesses who were among the 1,090 rescued from an information technology firm also involved in crypto scam inside the Clark Freeport Zone in Mabalacat, Pampanga on May 4.

Of the rescued victims, 171 were Filipinos, 389 Vietnamese, 307 Chinese, 143 Indonesians, 40 Nepalese, 25 Malaysians, seven Burmese, five Thais, two Taiwanese and one from Hong Kong. Philippine News Agency