The Kuwaiti government and Interpol are hunting the employers of a Filipino domestic worker whose body was found in a freezer in an apartment in Kuwait city.
In Manila, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the maid had been identified as Joanna Daniela Demafelis, 29, from Iloilo on Panay Island in the center of the Philippine archipelago, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. She had worked for a Lebanese-Syrian couple.
The couple, Nader Essam Assaf and Muna Hasoun, left Kuwait in 2016 and reportedly fled to Lebanon.
Relatives of Assaf suspect that his wife was to blame for the death of Demafelis because she was allegedly shrewd and had a controlling influence on Assaf, Arab Times reported.
Raul Dado, executive director at the Office of Migrant Workers Affairs, said the Kuwaiti government is coordinating with Interpol to track down the couple, GMA News reported.
“Kuwait authorities are searching for the couple in Lebanon to arrest them with the help of Interpol,” Dado said.
Eva Demafelis, the victim’s mother, has demanded justice for her daughter’s death and wants her body to be brought back home to the Philippines, ABS-CBN News reported.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is said to have expressed anger about the case during a press conference on Friday, reportedly ordering the labor department to help repatriate all Filipinos keen to return from Kuwait.
Seven Filipinos have died in Kuwait in recent times, prompting a government to order a deployment ban on the Gulf State. Duterte had previously threatened to withdraw all Filipinos from the small nation if another worker died there.