KUWAIT – A 41-year old Filipina household service worker has been injured in fall in a bid to escape a prostitution syndicate operated by a Pakistani and Sri Lankan nationals.
"Maribel", broke her spine after jumping off from a three-story apartment.
The Samar native is separated from her husband. She has six children.
Maribel arrived in Kuwait last July 2013 to work as household service worker.
It was in December 8, 2014 when she met a Filipina who introduced herself as supervisor of a coffee shop.
That woman, only identified as "Liza", called her up and encouraged her to work in the shop.
She agreed to meet with the Pinay and a Pakistani who was said to be the manager of the coffee shop.
"Ang galing magsalita, Pinay, Liza ang name niya. Doon sa Farwaniya Wataniya. Pagdating ko doon, lumapit yong Pakistani," she said.
She said the Pakistani placed a towel on her face and she fell unconscious. When she woke up, she was already inside and apartment in Jleeb al Shuyoukh.
"May tatlong Pakistani, ang lalaki, pinahubad nila ako, tapos ni rape nila ako. Kinabukasan, ang daming lalaki na tinatawag na customer," she said.
She was with another Filipina victim, she said. She claimed that there were other women who were being sold to foreign customers as sex slaves every day.
"Hindi pa kami pinapakain. Marami (lalaki) araw-araw, basta dalawang babae kami, umaabot ng 40 mahigit araw-araw," she said.
In December 27, she pleaded with the Pakistani to release her.
Instead, she was sold to a Sri Lankan national for 250 Kuwaiti dinar or P37,750. She was brought to another apartment, this time in Hawally.
"Noong nandon ako, niregla ako, pero sige pa rin ako. Pinapatrabaho pa rin ako. Sabi matanda na iyan walang kwenta iyan, patayin," she recalled.
Out of fear, she jumped from a window on the third storey of the apartment building to escape.
"Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa Diyos na binuhay ako ng Diyos para sa mga anak ko. Ang gusto ko lang, magkaipon-ipon kami ng mga anak ko at magkaroon ng trabaho," she said.
The Philippine Embassy is now coordinating with Kuwaiti authorities.
"Hahanapin namin ang lugar na ito to get the Filipinas out of that sex den," said Charge d' Affaires Atty. Raul Dado.
Dado also issued a reminder to Filipino women in Kuwait to be extra careful.
"Sa ating mga kababayang mga Pinay, be careful, mag-ingat kayo, don’t believe itong mga mensahe sa Facebook o sa Viber na naghihikayat sa inyo na tumakas at pumunta sa coffee shop where you have to work, kunwari restaurants, mabibiktima kayo ng human trafficking syndicates sa Kuwait," said Dado.