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Faking religion now a new trafficking modus – BI

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned of a new human trafficking modus targeting Filipinos planning to work abroad as household workers— faking religion.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said BI- travel control and enforcement unit members reported that two women aged 36 and 37 were intercepted when they attempted to depart on board a Cebu Pacific flight to Dubai at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 last April 14, on the pretext that they were Muslim pilgrims and were planning to travel by bus to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to participate in Umrah. They also claimed that they recently converted to Islam and plan to stay for seven days in Saudi.

The officers noted numerous inconsistencies in their statements as the duo later admitted that their documents were fabricated and that they were recruited via Facebook by a woman that processed their visas and tickets.

They also told the BI officers that they were instructed to pose as Muslims to be able to depart the country.

Tansingco said the new scheme is disappointing, adding: “These traffickers will stop at nothing to earn from their racket. They have even abused religion to evade immigration inspection.”

The two victims were turned over to the inter-agency council against trafficking for further investigation and to initiate cases against their recruiter, Tansingco said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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