Philippine authorities have stopped a smuggling attempt of 139 persons aboard a cruise ship in Bataan.
The Philippine Coast Guard and the National Bureau of Investigation rescued the persons after apprehending the 5,746 gross ton passenger ship M/V Forever Lucky.
The vessel, which had a crew of 41, was stopped in the early morning hours of July 3 while sailing to Micronesia.
The operation was undertaken after a foreign counterpart informed relevant authorities that a domestic passenger vessel of interest in Bataan was allegedly involved in human smuggling and other illegal activities.
The MV Forever Lucky, owned and operated by Farenheit Company Ltd, is currently docked in Orion, Bataan. The ship was preparing to depart Philippines for Micronesia to transport an “undocumented number of Filipinos,” Rear Admiral Joel Garcia, Director of the National Coast Watch Center, said.
The authorities are conducting further investigation for filing charges against persons behind this illegal activity.