9/20/2011 4:02am, #1
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- Feb 2008
Sex traffickers recruit victim by posing as martial arts school
This is a very disturbing news story and I would be interested to learn more about this and to obtain more details if anyone knows anything.
September 20, 2011 5:14 PM EST
What initially looked as a chance to enhance her martial arts skill turned into a personal tragedy for New Zealander Mary Elizabeth Jones, who was lured via Facebook to travel to the Philippines where she was robbed and sexually abused.
Jones told the New Zealand Herald that she got a Facebook invitation late last year from a supposed Filipino group that ran a school on martial arts, which got her interested and convinced her to take the plane going to Iloilo City, located south-central of the Philippines.
"They were meant to be world class and I thought this was a chance for me to learn from the best," Jones was quoted by The Herald as saying in describing the bogus school.
The publication added that Jones was fetched by a man at the city airport upon her arrival on October 2010 but instead of bringing her to the martial arts center, she was locked up in a cramped room where her ordeal immediately started
Jones recalled that after taking her personal belongings, she was forced to engage in sexual acts to as many as nine men each day who all reportedly paid some $140 for the chance to abuse her.
The whole episode, Jones said, lasted for months and all those horrifying moments, death seemed only her escape as the people guarding her subjected her to severe beatings each time she tried escaping.
"It was meant to be a trip of a lifetime but it has destroyed my whole life instead ... I felt utterly disgusted, and I was treated like a piece of meat," Jones said.
Finally, the Filipino human trafficking syndicate decided to take her to Manila, the country's capital, where Jones was abandoned by her abductors hungry and virtually helpless until she was rescued and returned to New Zealand.
As of the latest assessment issued by the U.S. Department of State, the Philippines has been tagged as one of the countries that have been unsuccessful in curbing the incidence of human trafficking that preys on unsuspecting local women who were then smuggled to Singapore or Malaysia to work as prostitutes.
The State Department also cited blatant incidences of forced prostitution within the country, in which women, many of them minors, were sold to local and foreign customers alike.
IME THB networks do place many adverts on FB and do masquerade as other entities including tantric yoga schools, shamanism schools and schools of "femininity".
Most of the trafficking networks I know of (my special interest is in pseudo-spiritual networks aka cults) have some kind of martial arts elements - whether it is claims by fake gurus to possess martial arts skills, or even promoting their own fake martial arts.
I have seen some bricks and mortar martial arts schools (one in Romania comes to mind) that demonstrated indicators of THB but I have never heard of a THB network disguising itself as a MA school on FB in order to recruit victims.
Just sharing ....
9/20/2011 11:57am, #2
So let me see if I got this right she gets a facebook request to go to the Philippines alone?? Not to be mean but that old saying about a sucker born every minute seems to scream on this one. Seriously who the **** goes to the Philippines ALONE to meet some stranger to learn martial arts. Again not to be mean about it especially considering what she went through but that is the stupidest fucking thing to do, where were all her friends at?? And why were they not telling her not to go??
9/20/2011 12:02pm, #3
Unless she was a teen or younger, although sad, it is a WTF moment. Then again people still believe all Martial Artists are the greatest humans on earth.
9/20/2011 12:08pm, #4
I agree. While the resulting crimes are disgusting and I hope the perpetrators are rightfully punished, that is just poor judgement on the victim's part.
9/20/2011 12:19pm, #5
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- Nov 2006
People wonder why I dont trust FMA. In all seriousness this is awful, but also highlights the levels of ignorance within the MA community towards all kinds of frauds.
9/21/2011 3:17am, #6
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- Feb 2008
I can't argue that it is an incredibly naive thing to do to travel to the Philippines on the back of a facebook message.
I also have a feeling that there is something about this story that isn't quite right.
It may be simply that the media have not published the whole story for some reason?
IME THB networks typically masquerade as other entities in order to groom and recruit victims, so that part seems unremarkable.
However they usually use fake FB entities in order to harvest compromising victim information prior to recruitment. In this way the traffickers can target young, attractive women or, if labour traffickers, strong young men.
This woman was 39 year old martial arts enthusiast according to the press reports.
Now I'm not saying that such a person would never be the subject of interest by traffickers, but for the complex, long con detailed in the press reports, with all the associated time and energy, I do not really understand why the chosen victim was a 39 year old MA enthusiast.
It may have been that she lied about her age on FB, maybe put a 15 year old photo up there (this is far from uncommon as we all know) but THB networks involved in long cons to recruit victims usually check potential victims thoroughly before taking the time to groom and recruit them.
39 years old is 25 years older than the ideal victim age, as far as sex traffickers are concerned. Even if this lady was an incredibly conventionally attractive 39 year old, a martial arts enthusiast would not make the criteria for a preferred victim for obvious reasons.
I just have a feeling that there there is more to this than has been reported in the news.
9/21/2011 8:09pm, #7
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- Jul 2006
- New England
I went googling after hearing about this story. It is horrible, yes, but I also found myself thinking that this story doesn't make sense.
If she was asked to fly in to Iloilo...OK, plenty of martial arts in that region. But why was she found all the way up in Metro Manila? If here captors were done with here, then why not dump her right there? Or on another island in the region?
Then I found this article, which complicates the story further:
Ms Jones was taken in by a women's refuge centre and stayed at the Haven National Centre for Women before receiving help from the US Embassy to return to New Zealand.
The embassy confirmed that it had helped Ms Jones in the Philippines.
Immigration New Zealand's general manager (fraud and compliance), Peter Elms said Ms Jones was holding a British passport and the department helped with her re-entry into the country.
Ms Jones was born in the UK but moved to Auckland as a child and attended Avondale Intermediate and Avondale College.
She moved to the United States and worked in business management and computer technology in Alaska before her trip to the Philippines.
"Our role was to endorse her status as a New Zealand citizen in her British passport which entitles her to remain here indefinitely," Mr Elms said.
If one had been based in Alaska for home and work, then why not return to Alaska? Why seek to go back to the country where you spent time as a kid?
Is this about martial arts, or even sex/trafficking/kidnapping? Or is it about citizenship, entry, and residency, and perhaps even getting state resources to finance one's travel?
Was there even a martial arts school? Or even a kidnapping? Or did someone seduce her in with the promise of excitement and romance and then con her out of her money and belongings?
Last edited by Sikaranista; 9/21/2011 8:23pm at .
9/22/2011 4:05pm, #8
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- Mar 2007
Given that she moved to NZ as a child it was probably with her family.
If she suffered the trauma she alleges it would make sense that she would return to a support group.
9/23/2011 2:30am, #9
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- Feb 2008
Well it would appear that Ms Jones' account is going to be thoroughly investigated so it will be interesting to see what somes to light.
Lawmaker urges probe of alleged 'sex slavery' of New Zealand woman
22-Sep-11, 4:12 PM | Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker on Thursday urged authorities to investigate the claim of a New Zealand resident who said she was forced into becoming a sex slave by a group that had duped her into coming to the Philippines last year.
Iloilo Representative Jerry Trenas said the allegations made by 39-year old Mary Elizabeth Jones in a story run by the New Zealand Herald were serious.
The article, "Kiwi woman kept as sex slave in Philippines," was posted on the Herald’s website on September 20.
In the article, Jones, a martial arts enthusiast, said she had been invited through Facebook last October to join a martial arts training camp in Iloilo City.
However, she said, after being met by the man who claimed to be the leader of the martial arts group, she was robbed and thrown into a “bug-infested room” where she was forced to have sex with up to nine men a day for P5,000 each.
She claimed in the article that “her attempts to escape and fight back resulted in severe beatings, which caused her to lose several teeth” and that “after months of torment and starvation, which left her too weak to stand, she was dragged from the room and dumped on the streets of Manila.”
She then said she was “taken in by a women's refuge centre and stayed at the Haven National Centre for Women before receiving help from the US Embassy to return to New Zealand.”
Although the article did not say when she was eventually freed by her alleged abductors, it did mention that she was telling her story “five months after being rescued” or around May this year.
"The report is very disturbing because it even mentioned Iloilo province as the place where the assault took place," Trenas said.
In a text message, Trenas said he expects local police to come out soon with a report on its investigation, including whether the group that alleged enslaved Jones was composed of Filipinos.
"I'm appealing to PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome and NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula to personally supervise this investigation because this is a very serious accusation especially at a time when the entire country is still reeling from the bad public relations that came in the aftermath of the bungled Quirino grandstand hostage rescue incident,” he said, referring to last year’s tragic death of eight Hong Kong residents following a bungled police attempt to rescue them from the dismissed policeman who had held them hostage.
The Iloilo lawmaker said the police should also send a team to New Zealand to get a full account of Jones’ story, since the article had left “many gaps” in her story that need clarification.
"Although the incident allegedly took place last year, I think that there's a great chance that we can still track down the perpetrators if Jones' story is true, especially because it appears there was an exchange of electronic information between the victim and the suspects,” Trenas said.
Also in her account, Ms Jones claims that she was beaten so badly by her captors on several occasions that she lost teeth.
I'm not saying that this didn't happen but IME sex traffickers tend to punish victims in ways that do not facially disfigure them for the simple reason that men want to have sex with pretty girls and not girls with black eyes and no teeth.
Once a victims is worn out and not making so much money they may do pretty much anything, as the punishments will scare their other victims into compliance, and by then, if the girl is not making much money, the traffickers will not really care if she lives or dies. However knocking out a victim's teeth over the course of several beatings over time just does not make economic sense.
The story is sketchy and does not make much sense at the moment, but of course this could simply be that the victim is traumatised and has not had the time and space to give a full account of what happened.
If this fake FMA school was created on facebook as part of the THB a grooming and recruitment MO of an OC network then there will be a record of it and LEOs should be able to find it, investigate it and warn potential victims about it.
Last edited by littleoldme; 9/23/2011 2:41am at .
10/16/2011 2:42am, #10
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- Feb 2008
Well the Manila cops say that she lied about the sex trafficking and that she is a deluded woman who made up the story to get revenge on the Filipino guy who she visited and had a short fling with but who eventually dumped her.
Pinoy victim of 'fatal attraction'
By AARON B. RECUENCO
October 15, 2011, 7:47pm
MANILA, Philippines — A meeting via Facebook triggered a case of “fatal attraction” involving a woman from New Zealand and a Filipino martial arts instructor.
The unsavory details of the failed romance surfaced after 39-year-old Mary Elizabeth Jones accused the Filipino, Mark David Dudoit, of not only abusing her but also forcing her into prostitution.
Jones’ story received wide attention in New Zealand after it was published by a newspaper there.
Director Samuel Pagdilao, head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said Jones and Dudoit became friends in October last year through the social networking site, Facebook.
“Jones posed as a young and attractive Ms. Sophie Bell from Texas, USA but later Dudoit discovered her true identity and age after a brief confrontation via online chats,” Pagdilao said.
Despite the confrontation, Pagdilao said Jones and Dudoit decided to meet in person.
Jones arrived in Iloilo airport in February, and she and Dudoit reportedly stayed on several occasions at a pension house in Iloilo City and later rented an apartment in Passi City.
The relationship quickly soured and last month, Jones recounted her five-month “ordeal” in the Philippines to the New Zealand paper.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) looked into the case, coming as it was at the time when the Philippines had just been removed from the top list of countries where sex trafficking is rampant.
After several weeks, Pagdilao declared that all of Jones’ allegations were untrue and that she was apparently trying to get back at Dudoit.
“Her claims were all fabricated and that what she said to a New Zealand newspaper was merely a product of her imagination,” said Pagdilao.
He said that in the first place, Jones stayed in the country for nearly 80 days.
She arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and February 3, 2011 and left the country on April 12.
Pagdilao said there were also medical records which belied the claims of Jones that she lost several teeth after being beaten up by Dudoit, and that she had a forced abortion.
Jones also alleged that Dudoit had robbed her of personal belongings, but Pagdilao said police found that Jones had sold all her valuables, including a laptop and an iPod, apparently to pay for her expenses in the country.
“Investigators tracked the laptop of Jones to a store in a mall in Iloilo City where they found out that it was Jones who personally sold her laptop to the owner of the said store for P10,000,” Pagdilao said.
Police also found that Dudoit’s story was more credible.
Police said Jones could have had a “fatal attraction” for the Filipino. “She was dumped by Dudoit when he found out that she was a nut case,” said Supt. Emma Libunao, head of the CIDG-Women and Children Protection Desk.
Libunao said Dudoit told the police that he and Jones were even kicked out of the apartment in Passi “because Jones was showing signs of unstable behavior.”
Dudoit, who said he could no longer stand the intolerable rudeness of Jones, eventually decided to bring the woman to the US Embassy in Manila, hoping he can send her back to the US.