IACAT lauds victory vs. human trafficker in Malaysia
April 4, 2012 10:08 am
MANILA, April 3 – The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), together with its non-government organization (NGO) partner Blas F. Ople Policy Center, has lauded the Malaysian court for ending the human trafficking operations of Singaporean national Eugene Lim Beng Huat alias “Alfred Lim”, who victimized more than a hundred Filipina workers overseas.
The Sessions Court of Malaysia sentenced Lim to six years’ imprisonment after finding him guilty on two counts of human trafficking of two Filipinas some four years ago.
Judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain handed down a jail sentence totaling six years on the two charges.
Both charges were framed under Section 12 of the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007” of Malaysia, a counterpart of the Philippines’ Republic Act 9208, otherwise known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.”
Earlier reports linked Lim to a pattern of illegal recruitment and trafficking in cahoots with some immigration officials at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) implicating 18 immigration officers stationed there.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila De Lima has dismissed the 18 immigration officials from service and issued a memorandum charging them with grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, dishonesty and gross neglect of duty.
IACAT Undersecretary-in-Charge Jose Vicente Salazar said that “together with Blas F. Ople Policy Center, we celebrate this as a major milestone in our fight against human trafficking.”
Salazar also affirmed the vital role of the private sector and NGOs in dealing with individuals and entities violating the anti-human trafficking law.
Based on the account of the witnesses, Lim’s pattern of operation is to recruit vulnerable women in search for jobs overseas through scouts fanned all over the Philippines.
These victims were then made to wear white t-shirts with their passports bearing a sticker formed into a letter “A” facilitating their exit in DMIA.
Upon deployment in Malaysia, mobile phones, passports and pocket money were confiscated by Lim’s cohorts.
Most of the recruited women were made to suffer physical and sexual abuse from employers who already paid Lim in advance.
Some were subjected to prostitution, housed at Lim’s three-storey townhouse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
There were even accounts specifically pointing to Lim personally beating up women who were returned by their employers because he loses money every time an employer seeks a refund citing dissatisfaction with the Filipino domestic worker.
“These atrocities should be brought to an end. This victory would help reassure the public that the government along with its partners is doing its best to protect their rights and interests, even outside our borders,” Salazar said.