10 Pinays rescued from karaoke bar in Sarawak

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 24 2013 12:55 PM | Updated as of Jun 24 2013 09:03 PM

MANILA – Ten Filipino women who were made to work as guest relations officers in a bar in Sarawak, Malaysia were safely rescued by authorities, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said.

"We are grateful to the Malaysian police authorities for their immediate action on our request. Cooperation between police and other authorities, as well as vigilance among the general public, is essential in combatting human trafficking," said Philippine Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya.

The embassy said the victims arrived in Malaysia on February 6, through irregular channels. They were recruited to work as service crew in Baila Me Karaoke bar in Bintulu but ended up as GROs.

The Pinays were forced to work beyond regular work hours without regular salaries and only earning from the "commission" they receive on drinks offered to customers.

A concerned Malaysian citizen emailed the embassy about the situation faced by the victims and also provided one of the phone numbers of the victims. The Pinays immediately requested to be rescued from the bar when contacted by the embassy.

During the raid, the Royal Malaysian Police also apprehended a Chinese-Malaysian operator, who is now investigated under Section 13 of the Malaysian Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act of 2007.

The rescued Pinays are currently at a shelter home, pending investigation of the case.