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16 suspected trafficking victims intercepted at NAIA

January 15, 2014 2:38pm
Sixteen suspected victims of human trafficking were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Monday before they could board their flight to their destinations in the Middle East.

The 16 were prevented from leaving the country after they presented questionable travel documents, according to  Immigration Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison on Wednesday.

Of the number, 11 were bound for Saudi Arabia via Kuwait while the rest were bound for Dubai via Bangkok. They were intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 2, Mison said.

The Saudi Arabia-bound workers told immigration officers they would work as household helpers although their overseas employment certificates (OEC) show they were hired as food attendants.

Meanwhile, two of the five offloaded passengers bound for Dubai were found to be actually bound for Lebanon and Jordan, while the other three were found to have no visas aside from photocopied UAE employment visas.

According to Mison, the workers said they were hired by an airport personnel named Rocky to work as domestic helpers and waitresses in Lebanon.

The Philippines, as of 2013, has retained its Tier 2 ranking in the United States' 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report despite government efforts to address the problem.

The report, released in June, monitors the compliance of countries in relation to standards in fighting human trafficking. — KBK, GMA News
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