AT LEAST 33 women believed to be victims of a human trafficking syndicate in Boracay Island were rescued by the local police and the Aklan Port-Based Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force during an operation in Malay town, Police Regional Office 6 director Brigadier General John C. Bulalacao said yesterday.
Bulalacao said six suspects identified as Richard Sauza,42; Kevin Martin,26; Mark Vincent Faulan,23; Fernando Fajardo,43; Rebecca Cainglet,56; and Karen Belonio,22, were arrested during the operation.
The suspects came from different places in Iloilo, Davao City, Olongapo City and Iloilo but were found to be all staying in a house in Sitio Tulubahan, Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island in Malay.
According to Bulalacao, the 33 women were believed to have been forced to work as prostitutes by the two suspects in a rented space and former KTV bars in Bgy. Manoc-Manoc.
He said the suspects were arrested after an agent managed to contact the suspects who offered him the sexual services of the women for a fee. It turned out that the six were the ones demanding advance payment from customers before bringing their clients to their workplaces where the women can be seen.
Bulalacao said the operation was conducted by members of the Malay Police Station led by Captain Jose Mark Anthony Gesulga, the 2nd Aklan Provincial Mobile Force Company headed by Colonel Ryan Manongdo, the 605th Maritime Police Station led by Cpt. Wilmar Bolivar and the APBATTF headed by Prosecutors Flosemer Chris Gonzales and Ma. Baya Bien Mayor-Tolentino.
The 33 rescued women are now under the custody of the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office in Malay while the suspects will be charged with violation of Republic Act 10364 or “An act to institute policies to eliminate trafficking in persons especially women and children.