Korean, Filipino woman accused of pimping local women in Mactan
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A Korean and a Filipino woman will face human trafficking charges after being accused of pimping local women in Mactan Island, Cebu.
The National Bureau of Investigation – Cebu District Office (Cebdo) announced in a press conference on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, that they arrested a 50-year-old Korean man for allegedly running a prostitution ring in a gated subdivision in Brgy. Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City last March 23.
They also arrested a 31-year-old Filipino woman, whom they believed acted as his cohort in his illegal activities.
Agents from NBI-Cebdo said they caught the Korean in the act of pimping three local women to Korean nationals inside a rented house. The three Filipino women they rescued are now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD-7).
On Monday, March 27, NBI-Cebdo filed cases against the two suspects through inquest proceedings but the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor later dismissed them and ordered the release of the accused.
Agent-in-Charge Arnel Pura, during Wednesday’s briefer, said the city prosecutor questioned the warrantless arrest made against the suspects. As a result, they were released from NBI-Cebdo’s custody on Tuesday, March 28.
CDN Digital decided not to divulge the identities of the Korean and the Filipino woman pending the refiling of charges against them.
“The city prosecutor ruled (that there) was no basis for the warrantless arrest… (The two) were arrested without virtue of a warrant and that issue precisely was tackled during the inquest so the prosecutor ruled, and we were directed to release the Korean and his Filipina partner,” Pura explained.
Nevertheless, the NBI-Cebdo official expressed optimism that their case against the two will prosper, adding that the affidavits they secured from the three rescued women are sufficient to hold the two accountable.
Pura said they will proceed in filing cases against the suspects for violating the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10364) this Monday, April 3, through regular proceedings.
In turn, NBI-Cebdo is set to provide the prosecutors with additional evidence while the accused will be directed to submit their counter-affidavits.
“This is just a momentary setback on our part… As so far as NBI-Cebdo is concerned, we respect the mandate and inspection of the city prosecutor. We have no other way but to release the subjects,” Pura said.
Special Investigator Bienvenido Panican told members of the media on Wednesday that they already received information about the Korean national’s alleged illegal activities way back in November 2022.
Last week, prior to the arrest, they got complaints from a concerned citizen, who claimed to be the suspect’s neighbor, that the house he rented had been allegedly used as a rendezvous point for prostitutes and Korean clients, said Panican.
Based on initial findings from NBI-7, the Korean suspect has been living in the country for six years, and the dive shop he opened in Lapu-Lapu City apparently served as a front of his alleged prostitution ring.
According to Panican, the foreigner would invite Korean men to visit the country and offer to have sex with local women for a fee.
“They have a GC (group chat) where his Filipina counterpart will show the images of the women being pimped to Korean clients,” Panican said in Tagalog.
Investigators said foreign customers will then pay as much as P4,500 for each woman.
In the meantime, NBI-Cebdo agents continue to probe other reports that other individuals, including foreigners and locals, who may have been involved. The Korean accused has also been turned over to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to verify his documents, they added.
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