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Immigration officers intercept 21 alleged human-trafficking victims at NAIA

August 15, 2013 3:17am

Immigration authorities on Wednesday stopped 21 overseas Filipino workers from leaving the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as they were allegedly victims of a human trafficking syndicate.

Immigration Officer-in-Charge Siegfred Mison said that the alleged victims were intercepted at the NAIA 2 terminal when they presented questionable travel documents.

Mison said it appeared from secondary inspection of the passengers that they were undocumented overseas Filipino workers disguised as tourists.

This was the latest case of human trafficking encountered by the Bureau of Immigration at the NAIA.

Last August 7, 12 passengers were prevented from boarding a flight to Singapore. The passengers had presented visas and plane tickets which showed that their final destination was Dubai, where, they claimed, they would be traveling as a group for a nine-day vacation.

However, they were barred from leaving after they gave inconsistent answers when questioned further on the real purpose of their trip.

Two days later, another group of nine passengers also bound for Singapore was intercepted.

They presented hotel reservations, round trip tickets and company IDs that turned out to be fake.

One of the supposed travelers confessed that the IDs were provided by their recruiter while two others said they were previously off-loaded for attempting to leave for Singapore without proper documents.

“We reiterate our warning to these [human-trafficking] syndicates: Stop employing various schemes to trick our immigration officers into allowing their victims to leave because it will not work,” Mison said. — DVM, GMA News
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