'Third country recruitment' modus of human traffickers uncovered as BI halts 4 Pinays at NAIA

Published July 18, 2021, 3:01 PM

by Jun Ramirez

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) halted four female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been recruited as household service workers in Dubai, but pretended they were going to work in Europe.

(Photo from PNA)

In a report to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the agency’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) said that the passengers were about to board an Emirates flight to Dubai when they were intercepted.

The women initially showed valid work permits and visas to Albania in southeastern Europe, but later admitted that they were actually hired to work as household service workers in Dubai.

They likewise admitted that they were not going to proceed to the said European country.

“This is a new modus operandi employed by human traffickers and illegal recruiters. They will obtain work permits and job contracts for their victims to work in another country, such as Albania or Maldives, when in fact Dubai is their actual work destination,” the report stated.

Morente commented: “This is a type of third country recruitment, wherein victims are given documents for one country, but end up being deployed in another.”

“In many instances, victims are made to accept conditions that are otherwise not acceptable just to be deployed for work,” he added.

The TCEU reported that all four passengers presented documents showing they were hired to work either as housekeepers or warehouse staffers in Albania.

However, when pressed on their actual travel itinerary, they eventually confessed that they had been recruited to work as household service workers in Dubai and that they would be handed their job contracts and work visas upon arriving at the emirate.

Their employers reportedly paid as much as P200,000 for the processing of their visas.

The four were endorsed to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation and filing of charges against their recruiters.