The police have rescued 18 victims, including six minors, of human trafficking at a private wharf in this southern port city, the police reported Thursday.
The Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) said the victims were rescued around 9 a.m. Wednesday at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan, west of this city.
The ZCPO said the victims were rescued following receipt of report about the presence of victims of human trafficking at the private wharf.
They were about to board a wooden-hulled ferry bound for Tawi-Tawi when rescued by joint operatives of the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) of the local police and Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF).
The rescued victims told the police that they were hired to worked as fishermen in Tandubas municipality, Tawi-Tawi.
The rescued victims include four female adults, eight male adults, two female minors and four male minors the youngest of which is an 11 month-old infant.
They were recruited in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur and in Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay province.
They identified their recruiter as Melzar Ujatimuay Danda of Kabasalan town, Zamboanga Sibugay and their employer as Magellan Mohammad Ali-Naugan.