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More than 20 human trafficking victims rescued at Manila Bay - police

At least 21 women, who are allegedly pimped to "clients" from ships anchored off Manila Bay or Akyat Barko, were rescued at Manila Bay on early Wednesday morning by operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, according to Emil Sumangil's report on State of the Nation (SONA).

Four crew members and a woman, who was identified as the pimp, were arrested by the police.

The suspects, who are facing human trafficking charges, declined to issue a comment.

The police also found several bottles of liquor, cigarettes and other contraband.

PNP Maritime Unit-NCR chief Police Colonel Raynold Rosero said suspects are bringing the women at international ships where they get paid a rate of P5,000.

"Sila ay sumasakay sa international ships, nagkakaroon ng prostitution doon po sa malalaking barko sa gitna ng karagatan ng Manila Bay," said Rosero in the television report.

(They will go to international ships where they are forced to engage in prostitution. The boats are located near the Manila Bay.)

Rosero said the victims were unemployed which led them to work for the suspects.

The women were then turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. -- Consuelo Marquez/BAP, GMA News