The Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday charged four Chinese nationals for allegedly trafficking their compatriots to become prostitutes in a karaoke bar in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
The NBI has charged and arrested Chinese women Zeng Dan, 28 years old; Quan Yiqing, 27 years old; Xiuzhu Wei, 45 years old; and Xiushen Wei, 44 years old, reported Cebu Daily News. The four have allegedly violated Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
The four are believed to be the managers of the Royal One KTV (karaoke TV) in the village of Agus where 34 Chinese nationals were allegedly working as prostitutes. The victims were rescued from the bar on Friday by members of the NBI the same time the suspects were arrested, reported SunStar Cebu.
NBI-Central Visayas director Tomas Enrile said the 34 victims were lured into prostitution after they were promised that they would work in a gaming company in Cavite. The victims were surprised to learn that they will actually be prostitutes, reported ABS-CBN News.
Chinese workers in the Philippines have reportedly increased in the past few years, with many of them working in gaming companies where their language skills are needed.
The NBI learned that the victims were working in the karaoke bar using tourist visas. The Bureau has brought the victims to the Chinese Consular Office so they could be repatriated back to their home country.
Meanwhile, the NBI will also charge Chinese nationals Lingyuan Hunag, Xiabing Lin, Zhang Yue, and Li Ping for trafficking the victims. The four were also identified as managers of the bar but they remain at large. Unlike the four others who were arrested, they were not at the karaoke bar when the NBI rescued the victims.
The case in Lapu-Lapu City comes less than a month after 10 Chinese nationals were rescued in Biñan City, Laguna where they were allegedly forced to work in a prostitution den. The women were allegedly recruited from China and were duped by their traffickers by promising them call center jobs in the Philippines. However, the police were unable to identify who operated the prostitution den.