26July2021

10 Human Trafficking Victims Rescued in Sarawak

21 June 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said that 10 Filipinas human trafficking victims were rescued in a raid recently conducted by Malaysian police and immigration authorities in Bintulu, Sarawak, upon the request of the Embassy. A local Chinese-Malaysian was also arrested in the operations.

According to information received from one of the victims, they were recruited to work as service crew in Baila Me Karaoke bar in Bintulu, Sarawak, but ended up working as guest relations officers. They arrived in Malaysia on February 6 through irregular channels.

The Filipinas were forced to work beyond regular work hours without regular salaries and only earning from the "commission" they receive on drinks offered to customers.

On May 13, a concerned Malaysian citizen informed the Embassy through email of the situation being faced by the Filipinas and forwarded the contact number of one of the Filipinas. Embassy officials were able to contact the Filipinas, who requested for immediate rescue from the karaoke bar.

Upon representations of the Embassy's Police Attaché Charlo Collado, the Royal Malaysian Police conducted a raid and rescued the 10 Filipinas. They also arrested a Chinese-Malaysian operator, who is now investigated under Section 13 of the Malaysian Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act of 2007.

"We are grateful to the Malaysian police authorities for their immediate action on our request. Cooperation between police and other authorities, as well as vigilance among the general public, is essential in combatting human trafficking," Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.

The Filipinas are currently at a shelter home, pending investigation of the case. After their testimonies are taken, the Embassy will work for their immediate repatriation. END