12 suspected human trafficking victims rescued at Zamboanga airport

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it has rescued 12 suspected victims of a human trafficking syndicate while they were attempting to leave the country via the southern backdoor.

In a statement, the BI said the group of women, hailing from different parts of the country, were intercepted at the international seaport in Zamboanga City on December 17 while they were about to board a ship bound for Sandakan, Malaysia.

Immigration port operations chief Grifton Medina said the group’s departure was stopped after immigration officers stationed at the port notice glaring inconsistencies in their answers during the interview.

The passengers were also unable to clearly detail their itinerary and their purpose in going to Malaysia.

The bureau said the intercepted passengers were turned over to proper agencies against trafficking for further investigation and assistance.

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