Bureau of Immigration authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rescued four human trafficking victims who were recruited to illegally work in Thailand, Laos, and Dubai.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the four passengers, whose names were withheld for their protection, were intercepted at the NAIA terminal 1 after they attempted to board a Tiger Air flight to Singapore last Oct. 17.
All or them were turned over to the Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.
He said that three of the victims had connecting flights to Bangkok, Thailand, claiming they were going on a 7-day vacation.
“The intercepted Bangkok-bound passengers initially presented themselves on primary inspection as tourists, but later on admitted that they were recruited to work as customer service representatives to be deployed to Thailand and Laos,” the BI chief said.
“Said victims were allegedly recruited through Facebook ads and were even promised to receive 50,000 pesos once employed,” Tansingco added.
Tansingco further disclosed the case of the other victim who earlier claimed that she was going on a five-day vacation to Singapore.
“The other passenger was a woman on her late 30’s who disguised as a tourist. As it turns out, she was offered a job as a household service worker in Dubai and that she was instructed to stay in Singapore for five days while she waited for her UAE visa,” Tansingco said.
“It is frustrating how these criminals have now evolved to using online ads to lure their victims,” he said.
“I assure the public that our officers will remain vigilant for any human trafficking attempt especially amid the ongoing influx of international passengers who will be vacationing during the holidays,” added Tansingco.
Tansingco, meanwhile, lauded the immigration officers who foiled the trafficking attempt.
“Our officers should be commended for showing how it is to be effective public servants. They work day in and day out to assure that nobody is victimized by illegal recruiters,” he said.