OFFICERS of the Bureau of Immigration at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport recently barred 12 undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who tried to leave the country in the guise of being tourists.
BI Port Operations Acting Chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were bot allowed to depart after being intercepted on separate occasions last week at NAIA Terminal 2 and 3.
Medina said 10 of the victims were stopped at the NAIA 3 while the two others, according to Travel Control and Enforcememt Unit (TCEU) Head Ma. Timotea C. Barizo, tried to depart from NAIA 2 last Sept. 14 for Hong Kong. They all carried spurious travel documents which were given to them by their “handlers”.
Medina reiterated his warning to those who intend to work overseas not to evade the travel requirements for OFWs by pretending to be tourists as “there is very little chance you will not be caught by our vigilant immigration officers at the airports.”
Two underaged OFWs were part of the 12 intercepted who carried complete documents but misrepresented their age. They were intercepted after they were noticed traveling with a woman who was in the bureau’s alert list of suspected human traffickers facilitating the deployment of undocumented workers abroad.
Barizo said the BI expects the trafficking syndicates to continue with their nefarious activities due to the anticipated influx of passengers at the NAIA in the coming weeks due to the upcoming holiday season.