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BI announces arrival of three repatriated Pinays from Laos

Three Filipina repatriates arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 following their repatriation from Laos where they admitted to have been offered work as call center agents, but similar to previous repatriates, were actually made to work as scammers conducting love scam operations.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI)-protection and border enforcement section (I-PROBES) reported to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco the repatriation last April 12 of the three females, who arrived the Philippines on board an Air Asia flight from Vientiane after being held victim by a scam hub in the region.

The BI first sounded the alarm on the modus in 2022, with the Interpol recently raising their concern on the gangs and scammers in Southeast Asia involved in online romance scam centers.

Previous victims recounted how they are forced to join dating sites and trick Western men into investing in fake cryptocurrency accounts. Victims said that they were physically abused if are unable to reach their quota.

News articles cite the Interpol in saying that an organized crime group can rake up as much as $50 billion a year.

“There’s no sign that these traffickers will stop,” said Tansingco. “Until there are more victims that they can scam, and more Filipinos that they can dupe to join their illegal scheme, then this problem can keep on growing,” he added.

Tansingco said that apart from strict departure formalities, he has ordered a strong communications campaign to inform the public about the modus so that no one will fall victim to the same scam.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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