The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), together with its non-government partner Blas F. Ople Policy Center, lauded the Malaysian court for ending the human trafficking operations of Singaporean national Eugene Lim Beng Huat aka “Alfred Lim”, who victimized more than a hundred (100) Filipina workers overseas.
The Sessions Court of Malaysia sentenced Lim to a total of six (6) years imprisonment after finding him guilty on two (2) counts of human trafficking of two Filipinas about four (4) years ago. Judge Ahmad Zamzani Mohd Zain handed down a jail sentence totaling six years on the two charges. Both the 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 or “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.”
Earlier reports connect Lim to a pattern of illegal recruitment and trafficking in cahoots with some immigration officials at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), implicating eighteen (18) immigrations officers stationed therein. On 16 July 2010, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima already dismissed the 18 officials from service and issued a memorandum charging grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service, dishonesty, gross neglect of duty.
IACAT Undersecretary-in-Charge Jose Vicente Salazar expressed that “together with Blas F. Ople Policy Center, we celebrate this as a major milestone in our fight against human trafficking.” Undersecretary Salazar also affirms the vital role of the private sector and non-government organizations 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 country. 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 to employers who already paid Lim in advance. Some were subjected to prostitution, housed at Lim’s three-storey townhouse in Kuala Lumpur. 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.” Added Salazar.
Justice Secretary De Lima similarly expressed her delight about this high point in the government’s anti-human trafficking efforts. De Lima also declared that this case is one of a number of cross-border and Trans-Atlantic human trafficking cases that the Department is fervently pursuing.
This case is among the resolved cross-border human trafficking cases since the passage of the RA 9208 creating the IACAT as the government’s anti-human trafficking body. “This also highlights the commitment of IACAT and its NGO partners in pursuing the fight against human trafficking,’’Salazar added.