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8 Filipinas rescued from Hawalli brothel

KUWAIT CITY, May 15: The Philippine Embassy through its lawyers filed multiple rape charges against a retired Kuwaiti Marine Officer who allegedly runs a brothel in Hawalli by luring Filipino Household Service Workers (HSWs) to escape from their employers to work in a coffee shop but they ended up in a brothel in Hawalli.

The embassy with its lawyers is also looking into the possibility of filing prostitution and human trafficking charges against the suspect pending investigation at the Prosecutor’s Office in Hawalli after Police authorities from the Nugra Police Station acting on a tip provided by the Philippine Embassy rescued eight Filipino women from the alleged prostitution den in Hawalli on May 10. The Filipinas were also believed to be victims of human trafficking.

Philippine Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Raul Dado together with Assistance to Nationals Unit Officers Mar Hassan and Muamar Mamosion accompanied the police authorities to the building where the eight Filipinas have been allegedly holed up.

“We received a tip from one of the Filipino organisations about the case of these Filipinas who were asking to be rescued so in the evening of May 9, we checked on the place to confirm the information relayed to us and on the next day we launched the rescue operation,” disclosed Hassan on Wednesday to the Arab Times.

He recounted that three Filipinas were rescued inside a flat on the first floor while five more were in a flat on the third floor. “When we got to the building, we asked the harris or the building caretaker to call the Kuwaiti who rents the flat on the first floor. As soon as the Kuwaiti arrived and opened the door of the flat, one of the Filipinas inside screamed for help prompting police authorities to arrest the suspect who turned out to be a retired Marine Officer,” he cited. After the rescue, the same Filipina who tipped the Filipino organisation informed authorities that the suspect also maintains another flat on the third floor with some Filipinas inside it.

The suspect allegedly has two Filipina accomplices who work for him and call up prospective Filipina victims who mostly work in Kuwaiti household and entice them to escape from their employers and work in a coffee shop. “Once they get to the flat, the suspect rapes these Filipinas and he sells them later on to another Kuwaiti who owns a coffee shop who also rapes them and we don’t know what happens next as we still have to get the details from the victims,” Hassan stated.

He added that on the day of the rescue, two Filipinas just arrived in the flat who were also lured to escape from their employers.

Among the five who were rescued, two filed rape charges while one filed a sexual harassment complaint against the suspect. On the other hand, the two Filipina accomplices denied that they were running a brothel and claimed that these Filipinas were hired to do beads and accessories in the flat.

The suspect is now detained at the Nugra Police Station while the eight Filipinas are under the custody of the Nugra Police authorities pending results of the investigation at the Hawalli Prosecutor’s Office.
The raid is part of the ongoing cooperation between the embassy and its Legal Desk and Kuwaiti government officials in their bid to crack down on human trafficking in line with their commitment to human rights.

“We would like to call on Filipinos especially those who are working at home to please don’t believe and trust people easily when they lure you to escape and work outside. They are not manpower agencies that can hire people legally. With your hope to find a better job, please don’t be enticed by the job offers of some unscrupulous individuals so you will not end up in trouble,” stressed Hassan.

He also urged those who know of similar cases to contact the embassy immediately so rescue operations can be launched with the help of Kuwaiti authorities. “You can call us, text or e-mail us the details or preferably please come to the embassy personally so we can act on it accordingly at once,” he pointed out.

By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Time Staff

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