By Jun Ramirez
Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have intercepted three foreigners who attempted to leave the country with fake passports and visa.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were apprehended at the NAIA 2 terminal last June 28 and 29 while transiting in Manila en route to their intended foreign destinations.
Medina disclosed that two of the passengers, Palestinian couple Yousef Hilles and Nour Muamar, were intercepted Tuesday evening while attempting to board a flight to Malaysia, using fake United Arab Emirates passports with spurious Philippine immigration arrival and departure stamps.
On the other hand, Senegalese passenger Fallou Thiam reportedly attempted to leave for Toronto Wednesday morning with a fake Canadian visa sticker on his passport.
“This should serve as a warning to foreigners not to use the Philippines as a jump off point to other countries,” Medina said.
He added that as a result of the apprehensions the BI again thwarted attempts by undesirable aliens to use Manila as a transit point in traveling illegally to other countries.
According to BI travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) chief Timotea Barizo, the Palestinian couple admitted to have allegedly acquired their fake UAE passports for US$10,000.
Barizo said the couple, who resides in Malaysia, had just arrived from Fiji where they stayed for 20 days but were prevented from boarding their flight to New Zealand where they intended to stay for good.
Barizo said Thiam claimed that he acquired his fake visa from a friend who works at the Canadian embassy in Senegal.
All three foreigners were later returned to their port of origin and were likewise placed in the BI’s blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the Philippines.