3 'human trafficking victims,' 'employer' intercepted at NAIA -- BI

Three Filipinos and their alleged employer were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and barred from travelling to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia last Nov. 13.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said the four passengers were suspected to be victims of human trafficking.

Initially, the three passengers claimed they were trainees of a construction company and travelling to Malaysia with their employer, the BI said.

“The passengers, who initially declared themselves as operations manager, site supervisor, and painter supervisor with five years of experience, were flagged for secondary inspection when they gave inconsistent statements when asked about the basic details of their trip,” it said.

During secondary inspection, the BI said “the passengers eventually admitted to not personally knowing their supposed employer, and revealed that their acquaintance began only this year.”

“Further investigation revealed that one passenger had paid P60,000 to their recruiter, who facilitated their departure to secure waiter jobs in Dubai and Malaysia,” it said. 

“A portion of the payment, P10,000, was purportedly allotted for membership in an organization with accredited chapters in Malaysia and Dubai, the passenger recounted,” it added.

The passengers also said that they "discovered the job opportunity through a Facebook posting.”

“The public is reminded to follow proper procedures when seeking employment abroad,” BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said in a statement.

“As the government continues to safeguard the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers, we urge the public to verify job opportunities abroad through reputable channels and authorized agencies to avoid falling victim to deceptive schemes,” Tansingco said.