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Taiwanese among human trafficking victims freed in Philippines

Authorities found more than 1,000 victims

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Buildings in the Clark Freeport Zone in the Philippines. 

Buildings in the Clark Freeport Zone in the Philippines.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two Taiwanese were among more than 1,000 human trafficking victims freed from an industrial zone in the Philippines, reports said Friday (May 5).

Indonesian workers held at the Clark Freeport Zone contacted their embassy in Manila, sending photos of sick colleagues, according to a report by news website Rappler. The Indonesian mission alerted the Philippine authorities, who found 1,048 victims of alleged human trafficking and forced labor at the Clark Sun Valley Hub Corporation.

The workers included 129 Filipinos, 389 Vietnamese, 307 Chinese, 143 Indonesians, 40 Nepalese, 25 Malaysians, seven Myanmarese, five Thais, two Taiwanese, and one Hong Kong citizen, according to Rappler.

They worked 18 hours a day after having their passports confiscated upon arrival at the facility, with most of their work focusing on online scams. The workers were forced to “recruit” at least 20 investors in cryptocurrencies per day.

The Taiwan representative office in the Philippines said the local authorities were still sifting through the evidence and researching the background of the people involved, CNA reported.