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BI chief renews warning after interception of 4 more human trafficking victims

Norman Tansingco
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco calls on the public not to fall for illegal recruiters. (JERRY S. TAN)

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco renewed his warning against illegal recruiters following the interception of four more human trafficking victims who attempted to depart for Singapore last March 1.

Citing a report from Ann Camille Mina, BI Travel Control and Enforcement Unit Chief, Tansingco said that the victims attempted to depart via a Jetstar Airlines flight to Singapore and were escorted by a female recruiter traveling with her four-year-old child.

Upon interview, the victims claimed that they were employees of a manpower agency, but had numerous inconsistent statements.

“We received intelligence information from the National Bureau of Investigation and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) NAIA Task Force Against Trafficking about the departure of the victims that were said to be actually bound for Cambodia to work in offshore gaming operations. We were able to intercept their attempt and prevent them from being victimized abroad,” she stated.

Eventually, the victims that they paid their recruiter P10,000 each as downpayment for their trip. The victims and their recruiter were all turned over to the IACAT for further investigation.

Owing to this, Tansingco renewed his warnings against job offers of illegal recruiters.

“These recruiters are crafty with their schemes, by using families with children as couriers. We have seen how victims have been exploited and even physically abused abroad. Aspiring OFWs should not accept offers they receive via social media. They should always secure work abroad through the Department of Migrant Workers,” he said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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