human trafficking

Over 1,000 human trafficking victims rescued in Clark, official confirms

Joann Manabat

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Over 1,000 human trafficking victims rescued in Clark, official confirms

SUN VALLEY. Several local authorities are seen within the vicinity of Sun Valley Hub Corporation on May 5, 2023.

Joann Manabat/Rappler

(2ND UPDATE) Philippine authorities were tipped off by the Indonesian embassy which received cries for help from Indonesian workers who sent photos showing some of them were sick

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article showed an image of the frontage of the business operations office of Dongggwang Clark Corporation, developer of the D’Heights Resort and Casino in Clark. This has been corrected to show the area of Clark Sun Valley Hub Corporation.

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – A total of 1,048 victims of alleged human trafficking and forced labor were rescued at the Clark Sun Valley Hub Corporation inside the freeport zone on Thursday night, May 4.

Based on a report received by Rappler, the victims rescued included 919 foreigners – 389 Vietnamese, 307 Chinese,  143 Indonesian, 40 Nepalese, 25 Malaysian, 7 from Myanmar, 5 from Thailand, 2 Taiwanese, 1 from Hong Kong – as well as 129 Filipinos.

Philippine authorities were tipped off by the Indonesian embassy who received cries for help from Indonesian workers who sent photos showing some of them were sick, operatives told Rappler. 

Their managers allowed them to have cell phones so they were able to send photos but only individually, not with others in the operation. 

According to some of the victims, their passports were confiscated upon arrival. They worked 18 hours a day with a daily quota of 20 clients, meaning 20 had to agree to invest in cryptocurrencies

Those hauled off during the raid included those who were running the operations, the operatives said. 

The police operation was based on a May 4 search warrant issued by Judge Hermenegildo Dumlao of the Regional Trial Court Branch 81 in Malolos City, Bulacan for violation of Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2012 in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. 

The operation was confirmed by Police Major General Keith Singian, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) security services group vice president. However, Singian said he could not provide any other details as no official report has been released yet.

“First of all, meron ngang nag-operate kagabi, nag-coordinate sa amin. Mga PNP [Philippine National Police] anti-cyber crime pero as of now hindi pa natin alam ang details or yung operation nila. Marami raw silang narescue pero wala pang official na report coming from their end,” Singian told Rappler on Friday, May 5.

(First of all, there really was an operation last night and they coordinated with us. They are from the PNP anti-cyber crime [unit] but as of now, we don’t have the details yet on their operation. They rescued many but there’s no official report coming from their end.)

Singian also said the victims were probably brought to Manila as the operation was conducted by authorities from Manila, including Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz and the PNP anti-cyber crime group.

Palagay ko sa Manila yun kasi mga taga-Manila yung nag-operate eh. Joint operation ng regional anti-cyber crime group. Hindi ko alam saan dinala pero nasa Manila sila kasi taga-Manila lahat yung nag-operate eh kasi kasama si Usec. Gilbert Cruz and yung director ng anti-cyber crime group,” he said.

(I think they were brought to Manila because those who conducted the operation were from Manila. It’s a joint operation of the regional anti-cyber crime group. I don’t know where in Manila they were brought to because all those who conducted the operation were from Manila, including undersecretary Gilbert Cruz and the director of the anti-cyber crime group.)

Among the pieces of evidence seized include assorted computer sets, cellphones, and other gadgets.

Local authorities seen in the vicinity of Clark Sun Valley Hub told Rappler they were not authorized to give information. – Rappler.com

Newsbreak Chats: Human trafficking, cryptos, and POGOs

Newsbreak Chats: Human trafficking, cryptos, and POGOs

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