By Jun Ramirez
Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers have arrested three Africans at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for attempting to enter the country with fake passports.
BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said the Africans were intercepted last April 10 upon their arrival from Istanbul, Turkey via a Turkish Airlines flight that arrived at the NAIA terminal 3.
Medina said the immigration officers saw numerous red flags and decided to refer the three for secondary inspection to members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU).
“The TCEU members immediately noticed irregularities in their passports and this was confirmed by our forensic document examiners,” Medina added.
A certification issued by the BI stated that the passports of the three passengers are fraudulent and their biographical pages are all counterfeit.
“There were alterations in the passport itself, and the biographical page was entirely bogus,” said Medina.
BI-TCEU chief Erwin Ortañez said the Africans attempted to use fake Ghana passports because citizens of the said country are not required to obtain entry visas when going to the Philippines.
He said the passengers may have originated from an African nation whose nationals are categorized as restricted, and are thus obliged to apply for a visa in our consulates abroad to enter the Philippines.
The Africans are now detained at the BI Detention Facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.