Filipino women wait to be questioned by the Philippine police inside a Manila compound raided on Friday, 02 July 2004 for serving as an illegal human trafficking agency recruiting minors for Japan's entertainment industry. EPA/MIKE ALQUINTO/FILE

More than 1,000 human trafficking victims rescued in Philippines

Manila, May 5 (EFE).- Philippine authorities rescued more than 1,000 people from various Southeast Asian countries who were victims of human trafficking and slave labor networks, official sources told EFE Friday.

The operation took place Thursday in the airport city of Clark, after an alert from Indonesian consular authorities in the Philippines, although the number of detainees is still unknown, the Police Chief Keith Singian of the Clark authorities said.

Authorities were alerted after the complaint by one of the victims, an Indonesian national, who told her country’s consular authorities in the Philippines about the forced labor conditions of a company that operated in the Clark free zone.

A woman holds a placard calling for a stop to global trafficking of women during a conference of female activists in Manila, Philippines, Monday 23 August 2004. EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA/FILE

“The operation managed to save a total of 1,048 people from 10 countries, including Indonesia. The rescued Indonesian citizens amounted to 143 people,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement published Friday.

According to digital media Rappler, 389 victims came from Vietnam, 307 from China, 143 from Indonesia, in addition to 40 Nepalis, 25 Malaysians, seven Myanmar nationals, five Thais, two Taiwanese and a Hong Kong citizen.

The victims were forced to work about 18 hours a day deprived of liberty and medical care for a company that allegedly sold cryptocurrency-related products, according to Rappler.

In the endless working days, the workers, whose passports were confiscated by employers when they began their employment, had to meet a quota of 20 clients with whom they had to close at least one sale.

Various organizations have warned in recent months about the sale of workers from Southeast Asia in slavery to centers operated by Chinese citizens, especially in Cambodia, but also in other countries such as Myanmar or the Philippines. EFE