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Human trafficker, seven victims intercepted by BI at NAIA

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A suspected human trafficker with seven suspected victims was intercepted by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.

A report to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that the trafficker and her victims attempted to depart on board a Philippine Airlines flight to Bangkok last March 1.

Initially, the victims claimed to be a set of friends traveling abroad for a vacation. However, careful scrutiny of their documents revealed inconsistencies, prompting the immigration officer to refer them for secondary inspection.

During secondary inspection, the victims admitted to be bound for Laos where they were promised work as customer service representatives. They admitted they are set to fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand before traveling to Laos by boat, and have been offered a monthly salary of around P40,000.

The victims said that they received the job offer via Facebook and online messaging service Telegram.

They admitted that fake IDs and other documents were given to them by their escort right outside the airport right before their flight.

“The escort traveled with them, but claimed to be traveling alone to Thailand when she went through immigration. We were able to intercept her, and she was positively identified as an accomplice of the recruiter,” the BI chief said.

The trafficker was turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against trafficking (IACAT) to face charges that will be filed against her.

Meantime, the BI also announced the interception of another female trafficking victim bound for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The victim was intercepted last March 3 at the NAIA Terminal 3 after attempting to depart on board a Cebu Pacific Airlines flight to Dubai.

The woman claimed to be traveling to the UAE alone for tourism purposes, but later admitted to accepting a job offer received via Facebook.

Allegedly, she was recruited as a household service worker via Facebook and was offered a P20,000 monthly salary. She stated that her recruiter contacted her via WhatsApp, where she was advised to pose as a tourist and to secure fake documents for presentation to immigration.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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