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Thailand-bound Filipina victimized by illegal recruiter – BI

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After attempting to travel to Thailand a Filipina and her recruiter were intercepted by officers of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.

The female victim, identified as alias “Lynne”, 29, was intercepted after her recruiter attempted to spirit her out of the country on board a Philippine Airlines flight to Bangkok last July 14. Real names have been withheld in compliance with anti-trafficking laws.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said that according to the report, “Lynne” presented herself as a tourist traveling with a friend called “Che”, after previously working as a factory worker in Taiwan. However, immigration officers noted multiple inconsistencies in her statements and documents. It was later found that she was recruited to work for a Chinese company based in Thailand.

They added that they suspect that “Che” facilitated “Lynne’s” recruitment and provided her with fake documentation to make it seem like the latter is a legitimate tourist, Sandoval said.

“Che” is said to be working as a recruitment assistant for a manpower agency in the Philippines and has multiple travels to Thailand. We are now looking into alias Che’s records to see if she has facilitated the travel of other workers in the past,” said BI chief Norman Tansingco.

In a similar incident, a victim was intercepted last July 12, after attempting to depart via a Philippine Airlines flight to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

The victim, dubbed as “Issa”, claimed that she is traveling for tourism purposes, and was invited by her Vietnamese friend. However, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) endorsed intelligence information about her, stating that she is actually bound for Cambodia after being illegally recruited.

“We suspect they might have been recruited for a catphishing syndicate, similar to those previously intercepted and repatriated,” Tansingco said, adding that both cases have been referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and filing of appropriate charges against the recruiters.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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