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29 Filipinas rescued from trafficking in Malaysia

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysian police have rescued 29 Filipinas who had been trafficked into work in bars, the Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur said on Wednesday.

The women were rescued from two bars in the town of Bintulu in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on June 9 after the embassy brought reports of trafficked women to Malaysian police, a statement by the embassy said.

Also arrested during the raid were three Filipinos who served as agents and caretakers of the women, it said.

It gave no further details on the case of the 29 women.

But it said some individuals and agencies were allegedly offering work in Malaysia to people who enter as tourists, promising to convert them to employment visas in exchange for payment.

"The embassy reminds Filipinos to be vigilant and not to deal with unlicensed individuals or purported placement agencies, especially online, as they could end up being trafficked," it said.

Malaysia's relatively developed economy is a magnet for migrants - many of them illegal - from around Southeast Asia, including large numbers of Filipinos.