PH Immigration tightens airport watch against human trafficking, illegal recruitment

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2019   •   454

MANILA, Philippines – Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente has ordered to further tighten the watch on operations of all international airports in the country in a bid to intercept possible victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

In a statement, Morente said he has implemented internal movement and coordination with other agencies in line with the move.

In an order issued last August 23, the BI chief transferred the authority of the Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) under his office.

The TCEU is in charge of passenger inspections in different international airports, and intercepts possible victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

“We have transferred the authority over our secondary inspectors, and they shall report directly under my office,” Morente said.

“They will serve as my eyes and ears at the airport,” he added.

In a separate order, Morente also assumed direct authority over the Border Control and Intelligence Unit, which is tasked to gather intelligence at the airports and monitor suspected terrorists.

The said units used to be under the Immigration Port Operations Division.

“Such move will prevent fraternization, which is seen as a risk for corruption,” Morente explained.

“This move will ensure checks and balances are put in place,” he added.

Likewise, Morente said that the immigration bureau has coordinated with other airport agencies to ensure that the airport immigration area remains sanitized and be used exclusively for assigned immigration officers.

BI nabs overstaying Indian national working as chef in Boracay

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2019

​​MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported the arrest on September 4 of an Indian national employed as a chef without a permit and visa in the tourist island of Boracay.

Accoridng to BI, the alien was identified as Vincent Joseph Mondal, 42, an allegedly overstaying and undocumented foreign worker.

Intelligence Division Acting Chief Fortunato Manahan Jr said Mondal was arrested while at work at Namaster Restaurant located beside the Boracay public market where he had been working as chief cook.

“He was unable to present his passport or any travel document when our agents confronted him to verify his immigration status,” Manahan said.

The BI discovered that Mondal was an illegal entrant as he entered the country through the backdoor and did not undergo inspection by immigration authorities.

​​It was also determined that Mondal had been banned from entering the country and placed on the immigration blacklist over a similar case of overstaying and failure to pay the assessed fines and penalties some time in 2013.

​​Mondal is now detained at the BI detention center while summary deportation proceedings are being undertaken.

7 Chinese nationals arrested for illegal sand dredging in Zambales

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Seven male Chinese nationals were arrested in Masinloc, Zambales for allegedly working without proper visas and engaging in illegal sand dredging activities, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported.

The Chinese nationals arrested were identified as Chen Shiniu, Chen Shaoshao, Xu Xiansheng, Jiang Xin, Zhao Yihong, Gong Yaan and Xie Yuhong.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said these individuals were arrested on Sept. 11 by BI intelligence agents in coordination with the Philippine National Police.

Information from the BI Intelligence Office says the Chinese workers were found after searching six vessels including “Sand Carrier Horner 1” and Dredger Warrior 6.”

Upon initial questioning, the arrested foreigners presented their passports with tourist visas. They were found to be overstaying and working without proper permits.

“The subject arrested foreigners violated not only our immigration Laws but also the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and Executive Order 292,” Morente said.

“They are seriously threatening national security and interest by stealing our minerals and resources,” he added.

The illegal Chinese workers were brought to the Immigration’s main office for further verification and proper inquest proceedings.

BI arrests close to 300 Chinese nationals in Pasig City

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2019

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday (Sept 11) arrested around 300 Chinese nationals in an operation that the agency conducted in a Corporate Center in Pasig City.

The arrested Chinese nationals were brought to the BI office in Manila for documentation.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said they had earlier issued an arrest order against four Chinese fugitives who were involved in several economic crimes in China.

“We received an official communication from Police Attaché Chen Chao of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines indicating that these Chinese fugitives engaged in an investment scam that victimized more than a thousand individuals, and has an estimated cost of damages amounting to more than 100 million RMB,” said Morente.

The arrest order was based on the information from the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines pertaining to the presence of the said suspects in the country.

The four have already victimized around 1,000 individuals in China.

However, when the BI operatives entered the establishment, they also discovered 273 Chinese nationals conducting illegal online operations.

These Chinese nationals are undocumented and are all wanted in China.

The BI promptly filed cases against the said Chinese nationals who are now detained in the BI’s warden facility in Taguig City.

“These fugitives will be hunted, deported, and will be blacklisted, effectively banning them from re-entering the country,” he further stated.

Morente, moreover, assured that these Chinese nationals will be deported and will be blacklisted so that they will never be able to get into the country. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

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