MANILA, Philippines – A female Taiwanese national suspected of being a courier for a human trafficking syndicate was nabbed at the Clark International Airport (CIA) in Angeles City, Pampanga, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Thursday.
In a statement, the BI said the woman was apprehended last Monday, Oct. 21, as she was about to board a flight bound for Taipei.
The passenger, whose name was not revealed in compliance with the anti-trafficking law, was stopped from boarding after airport security officials discovered she had 22 Philippine passports in her possession.
“The passports were found inside her luggage and she admitted during questioning that these belong to people who were recruited by her bosses to work in Malta without appropriate permits and proper documents,” BI CIA Chief Joseph Quizon said.
Quizon said the victims already paid the syndicate P150,000 in return for processing their working visas in Malta which would be done in Taiwan.
The official said the suspect identified two Maltese nationals as her contacts who would arrange the job placement of the victims.
The Bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit also learned that some of the recruits were already demanding the return of their money as they had given up on their overseas job prospects after waiting too long.
The immigration bureau said the suspect has been turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and filing of charges.
MANILA, Philippines – The Clark International Airport on Wednesday will resume its operations after the magnitude 6.1 earthquake damaged some of its facilities and paralyzed its flights and services for nearly 48 hours.
Airport authorities said the processing of affected passengers in terminals will start at 4 p.m. while the first flight out the airport will begin at 7:40 p.m.
Clark International Airport President Jaime Melo said power, flight information systems, and CCTVs have also been fully restored.
He also reminded affected passengers to coordinate with their respective carriers for their flight schedules.
“Clark airport is business as usual, from counters to manifest to boarding gates. May we remind the riding public to kindly check or coordinate with their respective airlines for confirmation of their flight schedules via Clark beginning April 24,” Melo said in a statement.
He said the damage caused by the strong earthquake that hit parts of Luzon on Monday has been repaired and cleared. Nets were also installed on the ceiling inside the pre-departure area to protect passengers from any falling debris.
A huge portion of the ceiling in the old terminal building collapsed on Monday after the quake. Water leakage was also detected after the tremor affected the fire alarm.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said fully repairing the damage will cost around P30 to P50 million.
Clark Airport officials said an investigation will be launched into the contractor of the old terminal building following allegations that the airport was constructed using substandard materials. – Robie de Guzman
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