ZAMBOANGA, Philippines >> Philippine police have rescued 80 Filipino women from a suspected human trafficking syndicate that was planning to send them to be maids in Malaysia and the Middle East.
Police Superintendent Celso Bael said they stopped the women, who pretended to be tourists, from boarding a chartered flight from the southern city of Zamboanga to Malaysia on Thursday.
He says that, from Malaysia, some would have been be sent to Libya, Lebanon and Egypt.
He says they were recruited from the Philippine capital and nine provinces around the country.
The women have been brought to the Social Welfare Department for counseling.
Few employment opportunities at home have forced millions of Filipinos to find work abroad, even in dangerous areas.