4 suspected human trafficking victims rescued at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   December 30, 2019   •   568

MANILA, Philippines – Four suspected human trafficking victims were rescued at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

In a statement released on Sunday, the BI said the victims were stopped from leaving the NAIA Terminal 1 last December 22.

The bureau said its travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) intercepted the victims while they were about to board their flight to Hong Kong en route to their final destination in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where they were allegedly hired to work as contract workers without proper documents.

“The three women admitted that they were recruited to work as domestic helpers while their male companion said he was hired to work as a secretary,” BI-TCEU head Ma. Timotea Barizo said.

Barizo added the passengers were allegedly recruited by a certain “Emilyn” who is currently based in the UAE and employs as a household worker the mother of one of the victims.

The BI said all of the four passengers were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation.

Immigration Bureau arrested 510 illegal aliens in 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported that its intelligence operatives arrested a total of 510 foreigners last year for violating Philippine immigration laws.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the foreigners were arrested in various enforcement operations. Majority of those arrested are Chinese nationals caught in the act of engaging in illegal online gaming and cybercrime activities.

“Because of the pandemic and community quarantines imposed, there was a decrease in the movement of aliens,” said Morente. “A lot of foreign nationals also joined repatriation flights back to their home countries,” he added.

BI intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. reported 32 Chinese nationals in Tarlac last December for illegally working in the country and involvement in cybercrimes. There are also 14 Indian nationals arrested for allegedly overstaying and being improperly documented.

Meanwhile, 14 South Korean and 2 Vietnamese were caught without permits and engaging in unauthorized business activities. AAC

BI nabs ‘fake Filipino’ in Pasay City

Marje Pelayo   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Sunday (January 24) reported the arrest of a Chinese national who allegedly misrepresented herself as a Filipino national.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced the arrest of 51-year-old Li Xinlei inside the Pasay City Hall compound by members of the BI’s Intelligence Division (ID) on Thursday (January 21).

Further investigation revealed that Li is a fugitive from justice, subject of an arrest warrant in China for economic crimes.

“When our agents arrested her, she was unable to show proper documentation,” shared BI ID Chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr.

‘Records show that she is already overstaying, and has reportedly misrepresented herself as a Filipino using a fraudulently acquired Philippine passport,” he added.

Li was in the city hall for a scheduled preliminary investigation for a separate case when the BI agents conducted the arrest.

“This is a significant arrest for the BI as Li is part of a list of wanted criminals that we have been pursuing,” stated Manahan.  

“The Chinese government sought our assistance in locating and deporting these fugitives, so they may face trial in their home country for their crimes,” he added.

Li underwent RT-PCR testing as a matter of protocol, and was turned over to the BI Warden Facility in Taguig for detention, pending her deportation.

“She will be blacklisted—meaning perpetually banned from entering our country,” said Morente.  

“Let this serve as a warning to aliens who will attempt to use the Philippines as their hideout.  Despite the pandemic, we will not stop.  Your days are numbered,” he warned.

Alleged Korean online prostitution ring leader nabbed in PHL

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines A Korean national wanted in his home country for operating an online prostitution advertising site was arrested in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Wednesday.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the foreigner as Seo Jung Nam, 41, who was arrested in Amor Riverside Anunas in Angeles City, Pampanga on Wednesday morning.

The operation was conducted by the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) in coordination with Korean authorities following receipt of information about Seo, with an Interpol Seoul Notice issued last December.

The bureau said Seo has been in the country since 2015.

BI FSU Chief Bobby Raquepo said the suspect is facing a sexual exploitation and prostitution case in Korea for allegedly placing prostitution advertisements online, as well as in business areas.

An arrest warrant was issued against him by the Uijeongbu District Court in Korea in 2018.

Seo, along with other accomplices, reportedly earned a profit of approximately 32 million Korean Won or P1.3 million by operating the online prostitution site under the name Playboy.

“We received information from our Korean counterparts that Seo’s passport is also undergoing revocation, making him an undocumented alien,” Raquepo said.

The arrested individual will be presented to the BI’s Legal Division for an inquest, and shall be turned over to the BI’s Warden Facility in Taguig following Covid-19 testing, the BI said.

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