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BI bars three trafficking victims from leaving NAIA

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THREE more suspected human trafficking victim, including two women bound for Lebanon and Syria, were barred by Bureau of Immigration (BI) inspectors from leaving via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the passengers were intercepted at NAIA’s terminals 1 and 3 last June 9 and 10 as they were about to board their outbound flights to the Middle East. The three victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation.

It was learned that members of the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) decided to offload the passengers from their flights after they admitted the real purpose of the travel during secondary inspection.

“They all initially alleged they were traveling as tourists and one of them even pretended to a nanny for the 16-year-old boy who is her supposed companion in her trip,” the BI chief said, adding that the fake nanny later confessed that she is not a tourist but would be traveling to Syria to work as a domestic helper.

Another passenger claimed she was vacationing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but later admitted she was going to Lebanon where she had previously worked as a household help.

The third passenger presented a fake Saudi Arabian visa but eventually surrendered her United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa and said she was going to Dubai to work as a maid.

“In all these cases, the victims recounted that they were recruited via the social media by illegal recruiters who processed all their travel documents. It is clear that they are all victims of human trafficking, thus we could not allow them to leave,” said Tansingco.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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