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3 "pimps" charged for qualified trafficking

CEBU, Philippines - Three suspected pimps were indicted by the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office after finding probable cause to hold them for trial for qualified trafficking following their arrest during an entrapment operation last week.

Assistant city prosecutor Aida Sanchez recommended no bail for the three accused whose names are withheld due to the confidentiality of the crime as provided for under the Republic Act 9208.

 Sanchez found sufficient basis to elevate the case before the Regional Trial Court after the three accused waived their right to avail of a preliminary investigation.

The accused were arrested during an entrapment operation jointly conducted by operatives of the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RATTF), Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 last July 15.

The operation stemmed from information provided by the International Justice Mission, a Non-Government Organization involved in the campaign against human trafficking, about an alleged illegal activities of the accused.

Based on the report, the accused are engaged in the “recruitment, hiring, harboring, maintaining, transporting and transferring women and girls by means of deceit, intimidation and threat for the purpose of selling their sexual services in exchange for money.”

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Based on the information, the police conducted surveillance operation to confirm the report. An entrapment operation was subsequently arranged wherein the three accused delivered eight girls to a motel in Kasambagan, Mabolo where supposed customers are waiting.

After the accused received the supposed payment for the services of the girls, they were immediately placed under arrest. The eight girls, wherein two are found to be minors, were subsequently rescued and turned over to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. — (FREEMAN)

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