KOTA KINABALU: A 30-year-old Filipino woman found guilty of trafficking seven of her countrywomen for sex exploitation, was slapped with a total 70-year jail sentence on Wednesday.
Juvy Banting Del Rosario was handed a 10 year jail sentence to each of the seen charges against her by Sessions Court Judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad.
A mother of four, Juvy broke down in tears upon hearing the sentence pronounced by Ainul, according to a national news portal reported.
She was charged under Section 13 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling Migrants Act 2007, which carries a maximum jail term of up to 20 years and a fine upon conviction.
The Star online said the 10-year sentence is to run concurrently from the date of her arrest in Labuan on Oct 22, 2015.
Judge Ainul also ordered Juvy to be referred to the Immigration Department after completing her sentence.
According to the charge sheet, Juvy had trafficked seven Filipino women aged between 21 and 25 at an entertainment outlet along Jalan Bunga Dahlia in Labuan on Oct 22, 2015.
She pleaded for forgiveness over what she had done, but Deputy Public Prosecutor Hafizah Zahidah Abdullah, who stood in for DPP Mohd Khairuddin Idrish, urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence, arguing that trafficking in women for sex exploitation was a serious offence.
Hafizah told the court Juvy committed the offence knowingly in a “carefully planned and well-designed” manner.
During mitigation, defence counsel Korvent Jomiji had asked for a light sentence, saying that Juvy was a single mother with four children and was the sole breadwinner for her family.