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BI appeals for stop to escorting family members to work for syndicates overseas

AN appeal was issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to families of aspiring overseas workers for them to stop escorting relatives just for them to work for scam syndicates overseas.

Commissioner Norman Tansingco said this after the latest batch of repatriates from Myanmar arrived last July 13 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on board a Philippine Airlines flight from Bangkok.

Said repatriates were forced to work as online scammers in Myanmar, and faced hunger, physical abuse and threats, even as a victim even had to pay 11,000 USD to the company in exchange for his release.

“This is already kidnapping and forced labor. What’s happening now is some of the worst kinds of trafficking we’ve seen. Apart from being trafficked and forced to work, they are made to become scammers as well,” he said.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the victims were made up of four females and four males, all in their 20’s and 30’s and were assisted by the NAIA Task Force Against Trafficking, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration after immigration clearance.

Of the eight victims, five were traveling with family members in the guise of going abroad for a vacation, she added.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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