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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Yap-bound 'cruise ship,' illegal workers seized, held in ROP

'Forever Lucky' is scheduled to provide housing, food for MicroGames starting July 15

Part of ad brochure from Fahrenheit Co. for MicroGames accommodations

It would seem that the once abandoned cruise ship, 'Forever Lucky,' has once again run out of luck.

According to widespread reports in the Philippine media, the ROP National Bureau of Investigation and Coast Guard raided the reportedly Philippine-owned ship early Tuesday morning in the Bataan port, detaining what are described as "139 victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment."

Authorities said they arrested officers and staff of the Fahrenheit Company Ltd., which owns the ship and impounded the vessel.

The travelers/victims headed for Yap have a number of talents, including tattoo artists, massage attendants, entertainers, bar tenders, food attendants, pig roasters, among many others.

According to a report in the Manila Bulletin, some on board contacted authorities about a lack of food and proper sleeping quarters.

"Lito Hernandez, a pig roaster from General Luna, Quezon province has with him nine workers from his lechon business. He said they were contacted to roast pig in Yap island, Micronesia since Faherenheit will allegedly cater for participants to the Olympic Games to be held in the Pacific Coast from July 15 to July 27, 2018. He said that they submitted their passport, police clearance and medical certificate. Hernandez said he was paid 70 percent down payment for 600 heads of pig at P9,500 per roast pig. They were told that the 30 percent will be paid on their way back to the Philippines after the event. A woman who is on-the-job-training for a culinary school in Dasmarinas, Cavite said they were told that their sailing date for Micronesia was June 20. She said they were in the boat June 14 yet. “We cleaned the ship [while docked] at the port. We were told to work in the housekeeping or food attendant or bar tender as soon as the boat docks in Micronesia.”

[Late word from Yap: The State of Yap has a two-month Memorandum of Agreement with Fahrenheit, Ltd. to provide extra rooms on the Forever Lucky ship during the 2018 Micro Games and to provide food and catering services for the athletes and coaches who will be participating in the event on July 15-27, 2018. The Micro Games Organizing Committee, a separate entity, met in an emergency session on July 4 to review options and is expected to make an announcement by Friday.]


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