File Photo: Eshan Kalyanikar

The plans for raids by Anti-Human Trafficking Office on certain establishments reported to carry out prostitution were hinted in the month of March. It has not yet executed due to lack of resources.

Jennifer Anson who serves as the Anti-Human Trafficking Office coordinator said, “We are still planning it, we need to use some outside customers as the cliental for these establishment is mostly foreigners.”

She also added that the problem Anti-Human Trafficking Office is facing is in securing volunteers who would pose as customers.

Although she hinted that some help might be taken from Guam law enforcement in the process as they can fly down to Palau to testify in court.

In the last report about by Island Times, Anti-Human Trafficking Office investigator Rickley Antonio had hinted that the plans of raids are in the process.

He also told the Island Times that raids are usually conducted with the help of Bureau of Immigration, Division of Criminal Investigation, Division of Labor, and the customs office as the Anti-Human Trafficking Office alone has limited resources.

Antonio had also said that as multiple agencies work together to tackle the problem of human trafficking and illegal prostitution in Palau, the time availability of these agencies often do not match up.

The 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report by the US places Palau under tier two.

The government agencies have taken efforts to improve the tier two status by creating shelters for the victims of human trafficking and developing a national action plan.

Island Times had requested for a list of business operating in the country along with the ownership pattern from the Ministry of Finance in the month of April, however, the request hasn’t been materialized and provided as of now. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)