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Workers disguised as tourists nabbed at NAIA

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THREE suspected victims of human trafficking who attempted to leave the country in the guise of being tourists were intercepted by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

According to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, the said passengers were barred from leaving last Friday before they could board an Air Asia flight to Bangkok, Thailand at the NAIA 3 terminal. They were eventually turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and filing of charges against their recruiters.

“There will be no letup in our campaign against human trafficking. We are sending a strong notice to these syndicates that we have doubled our vigilance in seeing to it that our poor Kababayans do not fall prey to their activities,” Tansingco said.

The three reportedly admitted that their final destination is Vientiane, Laos where they were allegedly hired to work as customer service representatives for a company and promised salaries of between P30,000 to P40,000 a month.

“The modus operandi employed here by the syndicate is for their victims who were disguised as tourists to initially fly to Thailand where they would later board a connecting flight to Laos,” Tangsinco said.

According to BI travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) head Ann Camille Mina, the victims gave inconsistent statements during interview and presented fake employment documents to make it appear that they are gainfully employed in the country.

They confessed that their supposed documents were only handed over to them at the airport hours earlier.

The passengers’ names were not divulged as the law prohibits the public disclosure of human trafficking victims.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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