Acting on a tip, officers of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted two female victims and their alleged recruiter at the Clark International Airport (CIA) afternoon of May 22.
In a report to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, the BI's Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) stated that the three passengers initially claimed to be tourists bound for Hong Kong, flying out via Cebu Pacific Airlines.
The two victims claimed to be working as nannies for their traveling companion “Pauline”, 60, who was with two minor children.
Names of the victims and suspect have been withheld in compliance with anti-trafficking laws.
When interviewed separately, it was found that they were bound to the United Arab Emirates to work as household service workers, and were offered a salary of 1600 Dirhams.
Both victims shared that they stumbled upon the recruitment via Facebook, and were instructed to travel with “Pauline” and her children and pretend they were her employees.
The two victims and their supposed recruiter were turned over to the CIA Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation.
BI officers rescue underaged worker with altered docs
An overseas filipino worker (OFW) was intercepted by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers on Tuesday morning for misrepresentation.
BI officers stationed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 intercepted the female OFW before she was able to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Jeddah to work as a household service worker (HSW).
Commissioner Norman Tansingco shared that the OFW, who was victimized by an unscrupulous agency, presented documents stating that she is 24 years old.
“However, it was apparent in her demeanor that something was off,” said Tansingco. “She was obviously younger than her presented age,” he added.
The victim was able to present a passport with a valid working visa stating that she was 24 years old. However, officers were able to discover that the birth certificate she carried was altered.
Current policies require HSWs working in the Middle East to be at least 24 years old.
“The immigration officer who processed her passport doubted the authenticity of the supporting document, and submitted it for tertiary check to our forensic documents laboratory,” said Tansingco. “There we were able to confirm that the year of birth and other details in the birth certificate was altered,” he added.
Despite this, the victim was able to secure identification documents and a visa.
Tansingco shared that the victim, who hails from Sultan Kudarat, was unable to read or write, which may have been abused by her recruiters to make her agree to the scheme.
“We suspect that she may be less than 20 years old, and possibly even be a minor,” said Tansingco. “This is a clear case of trafficking that abuses the vulnerabilities of our young ones,” he added.
The victim was referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and prosecution against her recruiters.