By Jun Ramirez
Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers thwarted three more human trafficking attempts with their recent interception of eight victims at the Manila and Cebu airports.
Reports from the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) disclosed that five of the victims were stopped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) while three others were intercepted at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
According to BI Spokesperson Dana Sandoval, the five female passengers intercepted at NAIA last Feb. 13 and 16 were all bound for Bangkok, but they were supposed to proceed to Dubai where they were illegally recruited to work as household service workers.
“They claimed that they were traveling to Thailand as tourists but later admitted that their purpose in going abroad was to work.” Sandoval said.
She said they hid their visas and connecting flights from immigration authorities.
Sandoval added that the trafficking attempts were foiled at the height of the implementation of the travel ban on passengers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau due to the coronavirus disease outbreak.
In Cebu, three women were stopped from leaving last Feb. 10 as they were about to board a flight to Japan. Sandoval said the passengers presented spurious documents purportedly showing that they are gainfully employed in the country.
She said they claimed they were vacationing in Japan, and that their trip was sponsored by their employer, but their documents had discrepancies.
The women were subjected to interviews and later confessed that their documents were merely given to them by their handler.
They also claimed that each of them paid their recruiters P200,000 in exchange for facilitating their trip to Japan where they intended to work.