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BI bars two suspected human trafficking victims from leaving via NAIA

Norman Tansingco
BI chief Tansingco warns against human trafficking. (JERRY S. TAN)

TWO women suspected of being human trafficking victims were barred from leaving by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the women were intercepted last February 4 and 5 and underwent secondary inspection wherein they were found to have presented dubious travel documents.

The names of the passengers were, however, withheld due to a provision in the anti-trafficking law prohibiting the public disclosure names of human trafficking victims. Both were turned over to the inter-agency council against trafficking (IACAT) for assistance in filing cases against their recruiters.

Once again, Tansingco warned members of human trafficking syndicates to stop their nefarious activities that prey on vulnerable Filipinos who are enticed by them due to their poverty.

A report from the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit said that the passenger intercepted last February 4 was supposed to board an Emirates flight to Saudi Arabia was found to have lied about her real age. However, she allegedly gave inconsistent answers about her age when interviewed and upon verification, it was confirmed that she was only 24 years old, despite her documents saying that she is already 29 years old.

Meanwhile, the other passenger intercepted on February 5 was about to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Singapore and was found to be in possession of a spurious overseas employment certificate (OEC).

The victim presented her work documents, which were later confirmed to be fake and admitted during the interview that she was hired by a fixer who processed her documents in exchange for P85,000, to work as a household service worker.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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