November 29, 2011
5 rescued from China sex trade
THREE women and two young girls, believed to be victims of human trafficking, were rescued in Xiamen, China on Friday afternoon.
Regional State Prosecutor Antonio Arellano told Sun.Star Davao Monday that the victims, two of whom are minors, both 16 years old, were compelled to provide sex services.
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He said two of the victims are from Davao City, one from Leyte and the other two from Bicol. He did not say if any or both of the minors are from Davao.
The rescue mission was planned after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Davao, which are members of Regional Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking- Integrated Action Network (Riaction), received a report from an informant who said he has friends and relatives in China who called him and asked for his help.
The informant said the victims sa... [more]
November 27, 2011
Trafficker: LA man kept 48 Thai workers in slave-labor conditions
WHAT: A Los Angeles federal jury found Yoo Taik Kim, 55, guilty of visa fraud and lying on his citizenship application. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought the case for 48 Thai workers who alleged they were human trafficking victims.
WHY: The Thais were welders purportedly recruited for legitimate jobs with an American steel company. Instead they were forced to toil at Kim's restaurants for little or no pay and live in cramped quarters lacking furniture or electricity — or be deported if they quit.
HOW: Kim got caught when he tried to get visa extensions for the welders, even though most of them had never worked at the steel company. He also lost his U.S. citizenship by being found guilty of lying on the application about his manpower agency work.
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The Washington Post
November 23, 2011
Virginian indicted in sex trafficking
A 23-year-old Virginia man described by authorities as a leader of a Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang was indicted Wednesday in federal court on charges of participating in a Northern Virginia underground prostitution ring involving underage girls.
U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride in Virginia said Rances Ulices Amaya was charged with conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor and, if convicted, faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison for each sex-trafficking count.
“Sex trafficking is an unconscionable crime that results in a lifetime of trauma for the young victims,” Mr. MacBride said. “Mr. Amaya is the fifth gang member charged in this ongoing investigation by the FBI and the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force, and we are committed to eradicating juvenile sex trafficking from our communities.”
According to court documents, Mr. Amaya, a leader of th... [more]
November 15, 2011
Gangs Enter New Territory With Sex Trafficking
The MS-13 gang got its start among immigrants from El Salvador in the 1980s. Since then, the gang has built operations in 42 states, mostly out West and in the Northeastern United States, where members typically deal in drugs and weapons.
But in Fairfax County, Va., one of the wealthiest places in the country, authorities have brought five cases in the past year that focus on gang members who have pushed women, sometimes very young women, into prostitution.
"We all know that human trafficking is an issue around the world," says Neil MacBride, the top federal prosecutor in the area. "We hear about child brothels in Thailand and brick kilns in India, but it's something that's in our own backyard, and in the last year we've seen street gangs starting to move into sex trafficking."
In Virginia, at least, the consequences can be severe. Over the past few weeks, one member of MS-13 nicknamed "Sniper" ... [more]
Courthouse News Service
November 14, 2011
Filipinos Claim Enslavement in Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS (CN) - Seventeen Filipino workers say they escaped indentured servitude in the United States after being lured here with visas and lies. Promised work at $16.25 an hour with free room and board, they were paid as little as $5.50, stuffed four to a room into a boarding house and charged $3,200 a month apiece for it, "whether they stayed there or not."
The workers sued Industrial Personnel and Management Services of the Philippines, D&R Resources, of Louisiana and its two individual owners, and five other businesses, in Federal Court. They allege peonage, slavery, human trafficking, conspiracy and other legal violations. They say their bosses even stole their tax refunds.
Also sued are Danilo N. Dayao and Randolph Nunez Malagapo, who own 50 percent of D&R Resources, of Galliano, La.; Thunder Enterprises, which owns the other 50 percent; Grand Isle Shipyards, of Louisiana; Pa... [more]
November 2, 2011
International Business Times
Polish Gang Arrested for Trafficking People into UK to Claim Benefits
A Polish gang which trafficked more than 200 people to the UK as part of a multi-million pound benefit fraud has been busted following a joint investigation by the Metropolitan Police, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Polish police.
The two-year operation Wednesday culminated in 29 people being arrested in Poland and five addresses searched in London, resulting in two arrests. Searches were also carried out in Birmingham.
"These vulnerable victims were trafficked here to be exploited and satisfy the greed of these criminals. They were brought here under the impression they were getting a job but were left with nothing, with many ending up on the street," said Kevin Hyland, Detective Inspector from SCD9, in a statement.
Uniformed Polish police officers joined officers from the Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command (SCD9), Ter... [more]
November 1, 2011
8 years for Little Village woman for forcing girl into prostitution
A woman accused of operating a brothel in the Pilsen neighborhood and forcing young women and girls into prostitution has been sentenced to 8 years in prison after pleading guilty, authorities said.
Rubicela Montero, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, the Cook County state's attorney's office said. She was originally was charged with three counts of involuntary servitude, human trafficking and pandering. Those charges carried a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Montero was accused of regularly picking up a 16-year-old girl from her high school and driving her to a basement brothel to work until 8 or 9 p.m. a couple of days a week.
Prosecutors say Montero, 39, a married mother with children who was living illegally in the United States, oversaw six women who worked in shifts charging $100 a customer out of a home near 31st Str... [more]