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BI warns vs recurring illegal recruitment scheme

Norman Tansingco and Dana Sandoval
Bureau of Immigration commissioner Norman Tansingco with his spokeperson Dana Sandoval. ( JERRY S. TAN)

There is a recurring illegal recruitment scheme targeting former overseas Filipino workers.

This was bared by BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco himself, as he cited the interception of a 37-year-old Filipina last July 13 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 after attempting to board a Philippine Airlines flight bound for Doha, Qatar, with a layover in Dubai.

“This incident serves as a reminder to all returning OWFs to exercise caution and be vigilant in their dealings with recruiters. The BI and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) already has an integrated system, hence it would be very easy for us to identify the legitimacy of presented clearances,” he warned.

Immigration officers requested verification of the victim’s documents with the DMW, which discovered discrepancies and withheld clearance for her departure.

Further investigation by BI personnel revealed that the woman was illegally recruited to work as a household service worker in Dubai.

“The modus operandi of these unscrupulous individuals involves using the records of legitimate contracts to facilitate their departure under false pretenses, while actually redirecting them to work illegally in a different country,” said Tansingco.

The victim said that she does not have a confirmed employer yet, and that her documents will be processed upon arrival in Dubai.

A similar case was reported last July 12 at the NAIA Terminal 1, wherein a female OFW claimed she is a returning worker in Riyadh, and is merely transiting via Dubai.

Records show that she has been recruited through a similar modus, through an advertisement she saw on Tiktok.

The case has been turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for legal action against the recruiters responsible for the said scheme.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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