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BI identifies Malta as a ‘hotspot’ for human trafficking

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TWO women posing as friends and travelling to Malta as tourists were intercepted by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The two, according to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, were human trafficking victims bound to leave April 29 to Bangkok at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 and initially declared leaving for a four-day vacation as they presented proof of local employment at dental clinics in the country.

“Both women later admitted during secondary inspection that their final destination is Malta and that their documents were only handed to them by an unknown person that same morning outside the airport,” said Tansingco.

The victims, however, were unaware that their employment visas to Malta were already cancelled even before leaving the country and added that they were instructed by their recruiter to wait for the rest of their travel documents upon reaching Bangkok.

The two trafficking victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and filing of appropriate charges against their recruiters.

“We call on the public to exercise caution in dealing with recruiters. Several investigations have shown exploitation of domestic and foreign victims in the Mediterranean, and this has long been a cause of concern. The BI understands being enticed by greener pastures abroad, but by not going through the correct process, aspiring migrant workers risk getting abused overseas,” the BI chief said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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