FOR reportedly attempting to enter the country with fake passports, three Africans were arrested by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
According to BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina, the three Africans were intercepted last April 10 upon their arrival from Istanbul, Turkey via a Turkish Airlines flight that arrived at the NAIA terminal 3.
Medina said the immigration officers who processed the foreigners saw numerous red flags and thus referred the trio for secondary inspection to members of the Bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU).
He added: ‘The TCEU members immediately noticed irregularities in their passports and this was confirmed by our forensic document examiners. A certification issued by the BI stated that the passports of the three passengers are fraudulent and their biographical pages are all counterfeit. There were alterations in the passport itself and the biographical page was entirely bogus.’
Meanwhile, BI-TCEU Chief Erwin Ortañez said that for knowingly using false documents, the three Africans are now detained at the BI Detention Facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City and are facing prosecution for violating the Philippine immigration act.
Ortanez expressed belief that the Africans attempted to use the fake Ghana passports because citizens of the said country are not required to obtain entry visas when going to the Philippines.
He also said that the passengers may have originated from an African nation whose nationals are categorized as restricted and are thus obliged to apply for a visa in our consulates abroad to enter the Philippines.
“These men are probably planning to conduct some sort of illegal operations in the country,” he said.