7 alleged human trafficking victims intercepted at NAIA – BI
Robie de Guzman • September 24, 2020 • 592
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday said its officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently intercepted seven Filipinos who were suspected of being victims of human trafficking.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Filipino women were bound for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The agency’s travel control and enforcement unit stopped the women from leaving last Sept. 17 when they were about to board a flight to Dubai.
The bureau said three of the women were allegedly hired to work as caregivers in the UAE while the remaining four were recruited to work as marketing and sales agents for an interior design company.
The women attempted to leave by posing as first-time overseas Filipino workers but the papers they presented turned out to be fraudulent, the BI added.
“Verification made on the overseas employment certificates (OECs) they presented revealed that some of them are not in the records of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), while the others appear to have been issued to other persons,” BI-TCEU Chief Ma. Timotea Barizo said.
A check of the passengers’ UAE visas showed that they were traveling to Dubai only as tourists and not as workers, she added.
The women, whose names could not be divulged following anti-trafficking laws, were later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.
Morente once again warned those who want to work abroad not to deal with unregistered agencies or recruiters as these shady characters are employed by human traffickers to recruit their victims.
“We were told that these intercepted victims all said that they met their handlers and recruiters via social media and that their travel papers were only handed to them a few days before their scheduled flights,” he said.
“They did not know that these fraudulent papers could result in interception by our officers,” he added.
The BI chief earlier said that human traffickers have resumed their nefarious activities despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said its personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have rescued a suspected human trafficking victim attempting to depart the country.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the female passenger was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 1 on March 6 while she was attempting to board a flight to Singapore.
Morente said the victim, whose name was withheld for her protection, was initially referred for verification to the on-duty immigration supervisor, as she attempted to enter the airport departure area.
“The supervisor noticed that the stamps on the passenger’s passport and boarding pass were spurious. Upon further verification, they have discovered that the stamp used was not a registered stamp,” he said.
The passenger later confessed that she did not undergo immigration inspection, and that she was intending to travel to Dubai for work under a job application with a certain agent named “Rency”.
“She was instructed to meet the agent at a fast food chain in the airport’s departure area. The agent got a hold of her passport and boarding pass, and gave them back to her with fake stamps,” BI Intelligence Division Chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr. said.
Manahan added that human traffickers would affix fake stamps in the passengers’ passports and boarding passes, so that their victims, when asked by authorities, could pretend they have already undergone the required immigration departure formalities.
“Since human traffickers could not provide the passengers with proper documents to work abroad, this is their cheap attempt to get their victims to evade immigration inspection,” he said.
The victim has been endorsed to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for proper assistance in filing a criminal complaint against her recruiter, the BI said.
The bureau also reiterated its advise for the public to only transact with registered and licensed recruitment agencies to avoid falling prey to illegal recruiters.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has intercepted four suspected victims of human trafficking at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
According to BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina, the four women were supposed to take a connecting flight to Dubai from Thailand to work as domestic helpers.
The four women were supposed to board a flight last February 1.
“It appears that the novel coronavirus outbreak has not deterred these syndicates from continuing with their nefarious activities. We are warning their would-be victims that they will not be able to leave, contrary to the promise of their recruiters,” Medina said.
The head of the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) Ma. Asuncion Palma-Gi said the four women initially claimed that they are mere tourists who would be going to Thailand for a vacation.
They later admitted that they were going to Dubai to work as domestic helpers and that they were directly recruited by a certain ‘Ms. Jessa’ from a Dubai-based recruitment agency.
“The four were referred to the MCIA Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance in filing a case against their recruiters,” according to the Immigration Bureau.
The BI reiterated their warning against human trafficking and advised potential victims not to fall for illegal entities.—AAC
A Taiwanese national claims she was a victim of human trafficking after she was forced to work at a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) company.
Twenty-three- year-oldTaiwanese national Lai Yu Cian or Ivy is seeking help after she was allegedly trafficked into the Philippines. She also reported suffering abuse from her Chinese employer.
“They want me to work for 24 hours, treating me like a slave. I already told them [employers] I want to go home. I want to go back to Taiwan. But they forced me to work for them,” she said.
Ivy said the company took her passport. She also added that her employer sexually assaulted her and threatened her if she sought help from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Ivy also revealed that her Chinese employer has a protector from the government and that she would sometimes hear the name ‘Michael Yang’.
“They always say that they have a protector behind them who is government people,” she said.
“I heard about once or twice when my supervisor got mad at me, they mentioned Michael Yang. He didn’t explain to me. He just shouts that at me,” Ivy added.
According to Senator Risa Hontiveros, they still haven’t verified if the “Michael Yang” identified by Ivy is the former economic adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Right now our main concern is the humanitarian aspect. We haven’t gone to the checking of identities,” she said.
Ivy is among the 30 other Asian nationals who were rescued in Mandaluyong last February 3.
Senator Joel Villanueva previously said that he is seeking the temporary suspension of POGO operations in the country due to the increasing number of illegal POGO workers.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
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