This is the number of establishments you helped send qualified investigators into over the last several months through the project you helped fund called The Surge.
The idea was to target a specific city in Southeast Asia and then to help the local police identify and gather initial intelligence on places where sexual slavery was suspected. What began as one city led to concentric circles that got wider and wider. One lead led to another, and investigative missions eventually spanned the entire length of the entire country, from a small village on the Northern border to a major tourist city in the South.
Four raids and sting operations took place, including the imprisonment of a father who had raped his daughter and the arrest of a pedophile.
In addition, teams on the ground, including both Westerners and Asian nationals, had sufficient resources to effectively investigate over 50 places of interest, including bars, brothels, and dance clubs. Investigators wrote detailed reports on all places where trafficking or underage sexual slavery was occurring, and delivered this vital intelligence to the local trusted authorities. The entire project was an important step towards freedom for future victims and proved to be invaluable in continuing to build trusted relationships between local police and the investigative community.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.” We believe that The Surge was one of these vital steps forward towards slowing the machine of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia.
Thank you for generously empowering investigative teams.
Photos: Day and night difference at the red-light district.
On April 5, all field reports and target packages from The Surge surveillance in March were submitted to the police for evaluation regarding future raids on establishments.
Originally, The Surge raid was only suppose to last for one month, but new cases keep coming to the light. In the last month, five new cases have been opened, involving several traffickers and victims.
Please continue to pray for investigators in the field. Pray for safety and wisdom in the cases they are currently conducting. We will report as soon as we hear more on this mission.
A twelve-hour time difference exists between the United States and Southeast Asia. And over the past few weeks, as we here in the West have been eating our lunches, teams of covert investigators have been searching for children and victims of sexual exploitation and slavery.
With your financial and prayer support, The Surge— a joint effort of the local police and NGO community to target cases in a particular city center in Southeast Asia– is officially underway. The national team has investigated the brothels, which cater to local men, while the Western team, from The Exodus Road (one of our onsite organizations), has targeted the brothels, which cater to tourists and foreigners. After about two weeks of investigations, they’ve met strategically in the middle of the city.
Currently, the surveillance efforts from the past weeks have led them to identify three brothels with likely trafficking scenarios. These three locations hold an estimated 10 underage victims of sexual slavery. The next step of this process is to send in operatives to gather the necessary video evidence of the sale of victims. Once this evidence is gathered, raids and rescues can quickly take place.
The teams are also widening their circle from the city center and investigating several other smaller outlying villages where underage sex is rumored to be sold.
The teams on the ground, both foreign and local, continue to work together. Their coordinated efforts will prayerfully lead to real-life rescues within the month. Our ultimate hope is that the treasures that are these girls and boys will be found and plucked from the darkness.
So, during your next lunchtime prayer, recognizing that operations overseas are perhaps taking place in the same moments, remember The Surge, would you? This effort for justice is your effort, too. Remember to pray and ask God for protection for the brave men on the front lines and for the rescue for the precious ones waiting behind locked doors.
Below are some pictures from the investigation.