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Five women overseas workers posing as tourists barred from leaving at NAIA

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FIVE passengers suspected of being human trafficking victims and pretending to be tourist while intending to work abroad were intercepted by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the female passengers were intercepted at the NAIA 1 terminal last May 30 and were prevented from boarding their flights for misrepresentation. Of the number, four were bound for Bangkok, Thailand while the other one was Singapore-bound.

It was learned that when the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) interviewed the women, they presented spurious employment documents and canceled hotel bookings, even as they reportedly lied about the nature of their jobs here and were very inconsistent in their answers to questions.

“We suspect that the four Bangkok-bound passengers are prone to become trafficking victims as they admitted they were hired to work in Chiang Rai province which borders Thailand with Myanmar, a known destination of trafficking victims recruited by crypto scam operators,” the BI chief said.

“One of them even claimed to work as a news and current events researcher from a major news network,” Tansingco noted, saying all five eventually admitted that they were recruited to work as office staff in Thailand and were offered a salary of P30,000.

As for the Singapore-bound passenger, she eventually confessed that she was hired to work as an entertainer in a nightclub at the city-state.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our officers at the NAIA, we were able to again rescue five of our countrymen from being abused and exploited in foreign lands,. So long as human trafficking persists, there will be no letup in our campaign to fight this menace to our society,” the BI chief said.

The women were later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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