3 CHINESE CONVICTED OF PEOPLE TRAFFICKING IN PALAU

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By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, May 10) – Associate Justice Kathleen Salii will hand down the sentence today to the three foreigners found guilty of people trafficking.

Earlier government prosecutors recommended a maximum of 25 years jail term against defendant Teng Feng Chiang and Bai Yue Wang to serve 25 years imprisonment, pay a fine of US$100,000 and pay restitution to all 10 former employees of Carnival Bar and Restaurant.

The government also asked the court to deport the two foreigners after serving a portion of their sentence.

Chiang and Wang were earlier convicted of several counts of people trafficking along with Philippine national Lolita Pamintuan.

People trafficking carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. The government—due to Pamintuan’s age—has asked the court to send her to jail for two years and pay a fine of US$10,000.

The Attorney General’s Office also recommended Pamintuan’s deportation after serving a proportion of her sentence

For defendant Katherine Manio, who was found guilty of exploitation of a trafficked person, the Attorney General’s Office recommended a jail term of five years, US$10,000 fine and deportation after serving a portion of her sentence.

Defense lawyers, however, sought deportation instead of incarceration.

Salii’s verdict set a precedent, making Chiang, Wang and Pamintuan the first to be convicted of people trafficking in the country.

Associate Justice Kathleen Salii found Chiang, Wang, and Pamintuan guilty of trafficking 10 former Chinese and Filipino waitresses of Carnival Bar and Restaurant.

Manio, a Philippine national was found guilty of exploiting a trafficked person.

 

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