Eight Filipino who ended up in stressful situations after being victimized by human traffickers in Myanmar have been rescued and returned home on Monday, Feb. 13.
The Filipinos arrived in the Philippines at 5:25 a.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
They were welcomed by DFA acting Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Eduardo Jose De Vega and other DFA officials.
Four of the victims were “recruited online from Dubai to supposedly work as customer support representatives in Thailand,” DFA said. However, they were brought to Myanmar and were forced to work as cryptocurrency scammers.
The repatriates told GMA News “they were abused and threatened if they refused to follow orders.”
The DFA reminded Filipinos here and abroad to be vigilant in taking “spurious” job offers through social media to avoid illegal recruitment and human trafficking schemes.
“It is vital to pass through the legal deployment processes in the Philippines and arrive in their countries of destination not as tourists but with actual working visas,” it said in a statement.
Among the other Filipino victims were females “detained for allegedly entering Myanmar illegally from Thailand.”
The Myanmar-Thai Friendship Bridge, the border crossing closed for nearly three years, was only reopened last month for the citizens of the two countries.
The DFA said that crossing by other means is illegal, noting the entry points for foreigners are only through Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw airports.
The Foreign Affairs department lauded the government agencies for their rescue efforts and thanked Myanmar authorities for their assistance.