Body of suspected Pinay maid found in freezer in Kuwait
The body of a woman believed to be a Filipina domestic helper was found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment in Kuwait on Wednesday, and authorities believe she had been in cold storage for more than a year, reports said.
Philippine officials are still verifying if the body was that of a Filipina.
"Our labor attache is still verifying if the corpse is that of a Filipina," Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told GMA News Onlina in a text message.
"The embassy has been alerted. It has convened its legal team immediately to work with Kuwait police and forensics, to look into the case and confirm the identity and nationality of the fatality, in addition to taking the necessary legal action on the case."
A Department of Foreign Affairs official said the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has already been alerted and it has already convened its legal team immediately to work with Kuwait police and forensics, to look into the case and confirm the identity and nationality of the fatality.
If proven that the body was that of a Filipina maid, it will bolster the Philippine government's justification in suspending the deployment of new workers to Kuwait over reports of abuses, with some resulting in deaths. The Kuwaiti government has criticized the Philippines' move.
According to a report on Arab Times, police discovered the remains while serving a court order for the eviction of the tenants of Salmiya apartment.
Officers, as well as the caretaker and landlord of the building, were surprised to discover the body inside the freezer at the apartment that was previously owned by a married couple, a Syrian woman and a Lebanese man, who had a Filipina maid.
The couple, however, left Kuwait in 2016 after an arrest warrant was put out for the Lebanese man for cases related to fake checks. They are now tagged by the police as the main suspects for the woman's death.
Upon discovery of the body, police notified the General Department of Criminal Evidences to have it transferred to Forensics for autopsy.
No other details have been furnished to the public, but a separate report on Kuwait Times said stab wounds were found on the woman's neck along with torture marks all over her body.
Kuwait Times reached out to Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Rene Villa for comments, but was told that they were unsure about the nationality of the deceased.
The body was discovered on the same day President Rodrigo Duterte met with Kuwait Ambassador to the Philippines Musaed Saleh Althwaikh regarding the suspension of OFW deployment to Kuwait.
Labor officials are studying whether to extend, repeal, or revise the suspension order into a total ban in light of continued maltreatment of OFWs in the Gulf country.
An estimated 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, 75 percent of which are domestic helpers. Some 300 Filipinos apply for work in Kuwait every day. —KBK, GMA News