The Sabah immigration authorities in Semporna rescued nine Filipinas who had been offered lucrative opportunities in the Middle East.
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The victims were rescued in two separate operations on July 8 and July 9, and were told by the syndicate that they would be gaining rich employment in Jordan and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
9 Filipinas Salvaged from Human Trafficking Syndicate Operating in Sabah
The raid was conducted out on an unnumbered property near Sekolah Kebangsaan Pekan Semporna and another residence in Kampung Terusan Hujung Batu, Pulau Bum-Bum, according to Sabah immigration director Muhamad Sade Mohammad Amin, Free Malaysia Today reported.
The women, aged 25 to 40, were rescued in an operation carried out by the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) division, he said.
“In the same operation, we also arrested two men and a Filipina, all aged 28 to 40, who were suspected to be part of the syndicate,” he said in a statement.
Sade stated that an initial inquiry revealed that the suspects cost each victim up to RM13,000 in fees for obtaining the jobs, and that those arrested were being held at the Papar immigration depot.
He stated that the victims were now being cared for in a women’s shelter in town.
As mandated by the SOPs, the victims and suspects will be subjected to health screenings, including for Covid-19.
“The suspects will be investigated under Section 26A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007. If convicted, they face imprisonment of up to 15 years or a fine, or both,” he said.
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