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Two trafficking victims bound for Cambodia barred at NAIA

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TWO victims of illegal recruitment who were hired to work in Cambodia, possibly as workers for crypto scam syndicates operating there, were barred from departing by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the two passengers were intercepted at the NAIA 3 terminal last September 27 before they could board a Cebu Pacific flight to Bangkok, Thailand.

According to the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU), the two passengers attempted to leave by posing as tourists who are traveling to Bangkok for vacation. They claimed to be employed here but presented doubtful employment documents and failed to explain their travel itinerary in Thailand.

Eventually, they admitted during questioning that their final destination is Cambodia and that they were just instructed by their handlers to wait for their employment documents while in Bangkok.

“They were allegedly promised a monthly pay of P40,000 in return for their services as “encoders” in Cambodia. Were it not for the vigilance of BI officers at the airports, they would have been in Cambodia right now working for employers who might harm and maltreat them as experienced by many of their countrymen who went there before them,” the BI chief said in reference to the ordeal of several Filipinos who were rescued in Cambodia from the hands of crypto scammers who maltreated, hurt and subjected them to all sorts of mental and physical abuse while employed by the syndicates.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our officers, we were able to save these two Filipinos from harm’s way,” Tansingco said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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