By Jun Ramirez
Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) arrested a Syrian national who tried to enter the country using a fake Kiribati passport.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations chief Grifton Medina said the 19-year-old Al Naasan Ibrahim was apprehended at the NAIA terminal 1 last Feb. 22 upon his arrival aboard a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur.
“He initially presented a Kiribtati passport, which drew the suspicion of the immigration officer,” Medina said in his report to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
Kiribati is an island republic in Central Pacific comprising of atolls and islets.
It was during the interview that Ibrahim confessed his true nationality and turn in his Syrian passport that was hidden in his luggage.
Medina said Ibrahim planned to use the Kiribati passport in going to Sweden where he intended to study.
According to BI-NAIA 1 travel control and enforcement chief Glenn Ford Comia, Ibrahim recounted that he bought for $5,000 the fraudulent Kiribati passport from a syndicate in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Comia said the passport was allegedly sold to Ibrahim by a Jordanian named Mohammed who he met via the Internet.
Aside from the passport, Ibrahim also presented a Kiribati national identity card and certificate of nationality which the syndicate also gave him.
The Syrian is now detained at the BI detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City pending his prosecution for violating the country’s immigration law.