A 49-year-old female trafficking victim was intercepted last July 4 by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, while attempting to depart for Amsterdam via a China Eastern flight.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco expressed his concern over the incident, saying: “We remain steadfast in our commitment to combat human trafficking and protect the rights and welfare of individuals who may fall victim to these illegal activities.”
A report from the agency’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) said that the immigration officer who processed the victim initially flagged her due to her previous attempt to travel to the Netherlands for employment.
During secondary inspection, the victim claimed to be a businesswoman on vacation to Amsterdam and presented various business documents in an attempt to support her claim.
A subsequent interview revealed that the victim had actually been recruited as a household service worker through Facebook. She disclosed that she had paid a total of 148,000 pesos to a relative who arranged her tickets and provided her with counterfeit documents, falsely indicating that she was a businesswoman.
The TCEU promptly turned the victim over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking to receive assistance in filing appropriate cases against her employer.
“Our immigration officers play a crucial role in preventing these illegal activities at our airports. Their dedication and thoroughness in identifying potential victims are key in our fight against human trafficking,” said Commissioner Tansingco, as he stressed the need for continued vigilance in detecting cases of human trafficking.