IMMIGRATION Officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport arrested an African woman who attempted to leave the country for Europedisguised as a Guatemalan citizen.
In a report to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI Acting Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the alleged Guatemalan, who identified herself as Desiree Dalila Sanchez, was intercepted by members of the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit last Tuesday at the departure area of NAIA Terminal 1 while she was about to board a China Airlines flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
“The officer inspecting her documents noticed irregularities on her passport,” Medina said. “Our forensic document examiners were able to confirm—the passport was fake,” he added.
Initial investigation revealed the woman presented a fraudulent Guatemalan passport with a counterfeit biographical page.
The suspect insisted that she is a Guatemalan citizen, although she later confessed that both her parents are from the central African country of Cameroon.
According to Medina, the arrest is another addition to a series of interceptions of illegal aliens attempting to use Manila as a transit point to first world countries. “These schemes will not succeed, as we have highly skilled officers and high tech equipment that can detect fraud within seconds,” said Medina.
The suspect is now detained at the BI detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig pending her prosecution for violating the country’s immigration act.
Morente reminded all airport immigration authorities to intensify their vigilance during the peak season to ensure that aliens who attempt to use bogus travel documents are caught.
Korean tourist retrieves lost P120K.
Operatives of the Intelligence and Investigation Division (IID) and Lost and Found unit of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) turned over yesterday a total amount of P120,614.87 to a Korean tourist who lost her pouch when he arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 last October 31.
Hwang Sung Ha arrived at around 10:00 p.m. via Asiana flight OZ703, when he unknowingly dropped his pouch at the UBE Express counter located at the arrival area.
The pouch was found by Judith Mertola, of Lucky Jet Travel and Tours, at around 12:30 a.m. of November 1. It contained an Asiana Club Visa card, Shinsegae Duty Free card, US$2,056, Korean won 31,000, Thailand baht 6,020 and P20.
MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal thanked Mertola for returning what she found. “Malaking tulong din sana yun sa kanya but I admire her for choosing to do good,” he said.
GM Monreal appealed to all airport workers to follow the gesture of Mertola. “Huwag nating bigyan ng lugar sa NAIA ang mga walang pakialam sa imahe ng ating paliparan at ng ating bansa.”
Due to the importance of the situation, efforts were exerted to make sure the money is returned to the rightful owner. Information came when Hwang was scheduled to depart via flight OZ 702 yesterday.
After checking in for his flight, Asiana ground handling agents invited Hwang to the IID office to return his pouch. Hwang was speechless after seeing his pouch and all its contents intact. He was so happy to learn that what he thought was lost, was found by an honest airport staff. He admitted that he got dismayed and would have left with a bad impression about the Philippines.
“This experience is worth sharing with my colleagues and relatives. I will tell them that Filipinos are honest and hospitable.” He promised to visit the country again.