Singaporean convicted for trafficking 2 Filipinos to Malaysia

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MANILA, Philippines—A Kuala Lumpur court on Friday found a Singaporean guilty of trafficking two Filipino domestic helpers to Malaysia and sentenced him to three years in jail, Philippine ambassador Eduardo Malaya said in a statement from Kuala Lumpur.

Eugene Beng Hua Lim, a.k.a. Alfred Lim was found guilty of two counts of trafficking based on the complaints filed against him by two Filipino women in July 2009.

“[The two complainants] and other victims of human trafficking need not wait any longer. Justice (has) finally prevailed,” said Malaya, who was present at the sentencing.

In June 2010, the two women testified in court that they were recruited with insufficient documentation by Lim’s Filipino agent from their hometowns in Luzon and deployed in Malaysia as domestic workers.

Mistreated by their employers, they initially sought refuge at Lim’s agency but were subjected to verbal and physical abuse instead. Lim even threatened to sell them to prostitution syndicates to recover the expenses he incurred in recruiting and deploying them, the women said.

After enduring prolonged periods of abuse and maltreatment, the complainants and four other Filipino women fled Lim’s placement agency in June 2008 and sought assistance from the Philippine Embassy.

The group cooperated with Malaysian authorities in filing criminal charges against Lim in July 2009, and was repatriated to the Philippines three weeks after giving their testimonies in court.

Malaya said Lim’s counsel had manifested its intention to appeal before the High Court of Kuala Lumpur.

The envoy thanked the Malaysian government, “particularly the Attorney General’s Chambers and police authorities, for its strong partnership in the campaign against human trafficking. In line with the directive of President Aquino, we will tirelessly work to ensure that the rights and welfare of Filipino nationals are safeguarded.”

Malaya also cited the work done by deputy public prosecutor Nurul Ashiqin binte Zulkipli in handling the case, and lauded the  “effective team work” among Philippine agencies and entities that ultimately led to Lim’s conviction.

He mentioned the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, the Department of Justice through Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Severino Gaña, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs, and the Philippine Embassy’s assistance-to-nationals section.

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