Singaporean trafficker of Filipino workers jailed in Malaysia

Philip C. Tubeza and Jerome Aning in Manila/Philippine Daily Inquirer
Asia News Network

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Migrant rights activists on Monday hailed the conviction in Malaysia of a Singaporean man who had allegedly victimized more than 100 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Former Labor Undersecretary Susan Ople, head of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, praised OFWs Marivic Capistrano and Marilou Bagsit, whose testimonies led to the Kuala Lumpur court decision last week sentencing Eugene Beng Hua Lim, alias Alfred Lim, to three years' imprisonment.

Lim was found guilty of two counts of trafficking based on the complaints filed against him by the two Filipino women in July 2009.

"We want to share their story with as many OFWs as possible to show that justice can and will prevail even if the illegal recruiter and human trafficker is influential and powerful," Ople said in a statement.

Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya, who was present at the sentencing, thanked the Malaysian government, particularly the Attorney General's Chambers and the police "for its strong partnership in the campaign against human trafficking."

In June 2010, Capistrano and Bagsit testified in court that they were recruited with insufficient documentation by Lim's Filipino agent from their hometowns in Luzon and deployed to Malaysia as domestic workers.

Mistreated by their employers, they initially sought refuge at Lim's agency but were subjected to verbal and physical abuse instead.

Lim threatened to sell them to prostitution rings to recover the expenses he incurred in recruiting and deploying them, the women said.

After enduring prolonged periods of abuse and maltreatment, the complainants and four other Filipino women fled Lim's placement agency in June 2008 and sought assistance from the Philippine Embassy.