Courier firms commit aid against trafficking
More than 10 money transfer companies in Cebu pledged to help the provincial government fight human trafficking and child exploitation.
Representatives of money transfer agencies in Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town attended yesterday’s closed-door meeting with the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) and International Justice Mission (IJM) at the Capitol.
“We seek your assistance and support to our cause to prevent, if not eliminate, these crimes before they get out of control,” Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, co-chairperson of the PWC, told the representatives.
Magpale said the PWC and IJM have been closely working on cases of human trafficking and cyber pornography where women and children in the province have become victims.
The vice governor said the perpetrators in these cases are mostly foreigners who use technology such as the Internet and money transfer services to commit their crimes.
PWC officials withheld the names of the companies to avoid jeopardizing their operations.
Jedidah Sumignan, PWC special operations officer, said the companies pledged to report to the province any suspicious money transfer activities from abroad to Cebu.
Sumignan said the participants are aware that such transactions were happening within their companies, but these realities had not sunk in until yesterday’s meeting.
The officer said the meeting not only served as a venue for coordination, but also as a catalyst of awareness for the representatives of each money transfer company.
Each company representative pledged to monitor dubious transactions coursed through their agencies and to inform PWC of red flags raised.
Sumignan said the average Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) sends $400 monthly to their families.
A daily remittance of $20 to $50 raises red flags already, she added.
She said that these instances will be noted by the money transfer businesses and used as basis for further verification on illegal activities.
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