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Woman arrested in Mandaue mall for allegedly pimping 11 victims

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol February 09,2014 - 08:16 AM

UNDERCOVER TARGET. Stephanie Reynes covers her face with a washcloth inside the Subangdaku Police Station in Mandaue City where she is detained. (CDN PHOTO/ LITO TECSON)

A 24-year-old woman believed to be involved in trafficking women and children fell into a trap set up by  police Friday night at a mall in Mandaue City.

Insp. Sheryl Bautista, team leader of the Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, identified the suspect as Stephanie Reynes of barangay Tipolo in Mandaue City.

Reynes’  name was often mentioned by informants as being involved in the recruitment of women and minors for commercial sex. This prompted the police to place her under surveillance, Bautista said.

“This woman has been mentioned by informants. We’ve been monitoring her. Last week, we found out that she’s still involved in prostitution,” Bautista told Cebu Daily News.

Eleven trafficking victims – four of them minors – were with the woman  when the police team swooped down on them inside a bar in Parkmall.

Reynes said a certain Ryan contacted her last month and asked her to bring him at least seven women who would be brought to an American client.

On Friday, the suspect, together with the 11 victims, went to the mall to see Ryan and the supposed American who identified himself as James. Unknown to them, Ryan and James were working undercover for the police.

Reynes was immediately arrested after receiving P64,000 from Ryan. The amount was  meant to pay for the services of eight of the 11 victims. Each victim was allegedly traded for P8,000, police said.

The victims, who are all from Mandaue City, were placed under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Police said Reynes will be charged with multiple counts of violation of Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 before the Mandaue City Prosecutors’ Office within the week.

Since four of the victims were believed to be minors, the offense will fall under qualified trafficking, a non-bailable offense.



Reynes, who was detained at the police station in barangay Subangdaku, told Cebu Daily News she  met Ryan twice before  her arrest last Friday.

“Nakuha kuno ni Ryan ang akong cellphone number sa usa ka tawo nga iyang nasugatan sa airport. Nisalig ra pud ko ni Ryan kay mura man siya og kasaligan. Tan-aw nako, buotan man siya.”

(Ryan told me that he got my number from someone he met at the airport. I trusted Ryan because he seemed  trustworthy. He appeared to be a good man),” Reynes said yesterday.

She said Ryan instructed her to buy condoms and put them inside envelopes with the names of the girls whom she recruited.

Ryan, she said, promised to give her a job in a company in Lapu-Lapu if their transaction with the American would  push through.

Reynes said she  recruited a friend who in turn brought more girls to her.

“Nasayod ko nga sex gyud ang tuyo sa Amerikano kay naa may condoms. Gi-inform nako sila unya okay ra man kuno nila kay nagkinahanglan man sila og kwarta.” (I knew that the purpose of the American was sex since condoms were involved. I told the victims what they’re getting into and they  told me it’s okay because they really needed the money).

Reynes said Ryan gave her P3,500 to cover her expenses as well as to prepare the requirements for the job that supposedly awaits her in Lapu-Lapu City.

Ryan also promised to give her a “bonus” once the transaction was  completed.

“Nagmahay gyud ko nga nadala kog mga amiga. Kon mabalik pa lang unta ang panahon, dili na unta ko modayon sa among transaction.”
(I regretted bringing my friends. If only I can turn back the hands of time, I would not have done this.)

“Dili na nako usbon ang akong gibuhat kay dili lalim ma-priso. Gimingaw na ko sa akong mga anak.”
(I won’t repeat what I did because it’s not easy to be imprisoned. I miss my children)



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TAGS: Cebu City, human trafficking, prostitution

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