139 trafficking victims rescued at Bataan port

MV Forever Lucky

Manila, Philippines – Authorities rescued 139 human smuggling victims from a cruise ship in Bataan before dawn Tuesday.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) launched a joint-operation at about 1:00 a.m. on the MV Forever Lucky, a cruise ship docked at the Port of Orion and bound for Micronesia.

The raid was launched after the PCG and the NBI were tipped off by the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) after the latter discovered that the ship was involved in human smuggling.

After boarding the ship, PCG and NBI operatives discovered that 139 of its passengers were undocumented, while 41 of its crew members were tagged in illegal activities.

The PCG and NBI also discovered that the cruise ship was not issued a franchise to travel outside the country.

“Investigation is ongoing for filing of necessary charges against persons behind this illegal activity,” PCG spokesman Armand Balilo told reporters in a text message.

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