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Australian nabbed on human trafficking charges

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The police arrested on Wednesday a 61-year- old Australian who was facing two counts of human trafficking charges in Cebu.

Michael Refalo was collared at 10:30 a.m. inside an Internet cafe in San Francisco town on Camotes Island, located east of Cebu mainland.

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He was detained at the San Francisco police station and would be brought to the provincial capitol in Cebu City on Thursday where Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale planned to present him during a press conference.

The operation stemmed from the arrest warrant issued by Judge Antonio Marigomen of the Regional Trial Court in Bogo City on charges of violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (Republic Act 9208).

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No bail was recommended for Refalo’s temporary liberty, said Senior Insp. Cesar Misola, chief of the San Francisco police station.

Misola, however, said he had no complete details on the facts of the case since they merely served the warrant after their assistance was sought by the Cebu Provincial Commission for the Welfare of Children (PCWC) and police Provincial Intelligence Branch.

After getting a copy of the warrant and photo of the foreigner, Misola said a surveillance operation was conducted.

Police found out that Refalo was inside an Internet cafe in Barangay Northern Poblacion where he was arrested.

The foreigner didn’t resist arrest.

Misola said they received information that the foreigner was staying with a friend in Poro town, also in Camotes, and had taken nude videos of 14 girls. Misola said he didn’t know where the videos were taken.

Magpale, PCWC co-chair, declined to confirm the information, saying a press conference would be held on Thursday morning where the suspect would be presented.

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TAGS: Australia, Cebu, Crime, Global Nation, Human trafficking, Michael Refalo, Police
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