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Denmark: The Woman Who Could Make Migrants Fly

November 17, 2016|

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Iluminada Panabe was convicted for smuggling in hundreds of Filipinos into the European Union. It was tagged as one of the biggest human smuggling cases in Denmark. Ms. Panabe talks for the first time. This is her story. Image by Ana Santos. Denmark, 2016.

Iluminada Panabe was convicted for smuggling in hundreds of Filipinos into the European Union. It was tagged as one of the biggest human smuggling cases in Denmark. Image by Ana Santos. Denmark, 2016.

THISTED, Denmark – Iluminada Panabe never used to drink coffee. She only learned to like coffee during the time she spent in prison.

A woman had just been brought in and remained cooped up in her cell, coming out only a few times during the day. The other inmates suggested that Panabe, known for being sociable and amiable, make the newcomer feel welcome.

“She wasn’t talking to anyone -- but she was drinking a lot of coffee. Maybe three thermoses a day,” Panabe recalled with a chuckle. So Panabe picked up a cup, poured herself some coffee and sat down to talk with the woman. Coffee became an icebreaker from which conversation began to flow.

Today, in Panabe’s apartment in the town of Thisted, coffee is again being poured but it is Panabe who is doing the talking. How she acquired her liking for the brown brew is just one of the confessions she makes.

Click here to read the full story in Information about Iluminada Panabe who was convicted of smuggling hundreds of Filipinos into the European Union (in Danish).