Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers halted six alleged human trafficking victims from boarding a plane to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, reports reaching the Manila Bulletin said Sunday, August 8.
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, the BI intelligence division said the passports of the six women bore fake visas of the UAE.
As per the report, the travellers claimed they were overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were merely returning to their old employers. However, they were unable to show any proof of such claim.
The BI’s forensic laboratory later confirmed that their visas were spurious.
They were subsequently turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and filing of charges against their recruiters.
The latest interception prompted Morente to again warn members of human trafficking syndicates that the BI will not allow them to take advantage of the pandemic “to prey on our poor countrymen who are lured to become victims of their racket because of poverty.”
He said BI officers at the NAIA and other airports are expertly trained in detecting falsified travel papers.