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BI wants tighter security, undercover police presence around airport premises

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Noting that many trafficking victims recount how their documents are handed to them in establishments within the airport complex, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco called on local law enforcement agencies to tighten security around the country’s airport as part of efforts to fight human trafficking.

BI Chief Norman Tansingco suggested that strengthening undercover police presence around the airport premises to detect traffickers who frequent the area.

“Hindi na dapat sila umaabot dito. Bago makarating ng airport ang biktima, ang dami nang pinagdadaanan. Recruited via social media, magbabayaran via wire transfer, tapos mag-aabutan ng pekeng dokumento sa labas ng airport. We all have to open our eyes because it’s happening right under our noses,” he said.

“Iisa ang modus, paulit-ulit lang naman, at sa iisang lugar din sila nagkikita,” said Tansingco. “To stop trafficking, you have to yank it from its roots and stomp on it hard,” he added.

Just last July 17, the BI reported intercepting a female victim last July 17 after being recruited to work in Dubai. The victim pretended to be a tourist bound for Singapore and her fraudulent documents were given to her right outside Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.

Fighting trafficking needs a whole-of-government approach. It’s a tiring and thankless job and I think it’s necessary for everyone to step up and elevate our game against these syndicates,” he added.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the agency has already alerted the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) against the modus, with the latter committing to file cases against the recruiters.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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