Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente on Thursday, Nov. 11, ordered the arrest of fake immigration agents who were allegedly harassing foreign nationals.
The Immigration chief issued the instructions after receiving reports that unscrupulous individuals present themselves as BI agents to harass and extort money from aliens.
“A victim sent us a letter for verification of a notice he received via courier, inviting him to the BI office in connection to a purported investigation, lest be charged and deported,” said Morente.
The said letter was signed by a certain special agent Juanito Balmas, a non-existent employee.
Morente said the victim was being asked to appear before the BI on a Saturday.
“We have no office during Saturdays. We suspect that the racketeer will meet him nearby and extort money from him,” he added.
Morente said that in the past, the BI has warned the public against numerous modus operandi involving fake employees.
Morente clarified that legal notices are sent to foreign nationals using the BI’s official letterhead, signed by legitimate employees of the agency.
He advised foreign nationals to verify communications sent to them via BI website at www.immigration.gov.ph.