The Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted three females misrepresenting themselves as government employees.
A report from the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit showed that the three unnamed females presented themselves for primary immigration inspection last July 9, stating that they are bound for Jeju Island, South Korea on board a Scoot airlines flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.
The trio showed travel authorities stating that they were employees of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). A travel authority for government employees is a document that allows them to travel on official business or for personal reasons.
However, the three gave inconsistent statements about their work prompting officers to further verify their documents. They later admitted that they bought their documents from a stall in Quiapo, Manila.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that he suspects the trio were recruited to work illegally in Korea.
“During the interview, they admitted that they paid Php150,000 to a contact they met through Facebook to process their documents,” said Tansingco. “One of them mentioned talking to several agents for assistance,” he added.
All three travelers were found to be possible victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment. Their case was referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation.
Illegal recruitment scheme targets former OFWs – BI
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported a recurring illegal recruitment scheme targeting former overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco cited the interception of a 37-year-old Filipina last July 13 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, after attempting to board a Philippine Airlines flight bound for Doha, Qatar, with a layover in Dubai.
Immigration officers requested verification of the victim’s documents with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), who discovered discrepancies and withheld clearance for her departure.
Further investigation by BI personnel revealed that the woman was illegally recruited to work as a household service worker in Dubai.
“The modus operandi of these unscrupulous individuals involves using the records of legitimate contracts to facilitate their departure under false pretenses, while actually redirecting them to work illegally in a different country,” said Tansingco.
The victim said that she does not have a confirmed employer yet, and that her documents will be processed upon arrival in Dubai.
A similar case was reported last July 12 at the NAIA Terminal 1, wherein a female OFW claimed she is a returning worker in Riyadh, and is merely transiting via Dubai. Records show that she has been recruited through a similar modus, through an advertisement she saw on Tiktok.
The case has been turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for legal action against the recruiters responsible for the said scheme.
“This incident serves as a reminder to all returning OWFs to exercise caution, and be vigilant in their dealings with recruiters,” said Tansingco. “The BI and the DMW already has an integrated system, hence it would be very easy for us to identify the legitimacy of presented clearances,” he warned.