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Pinoy Abroad

Filipina trafficking victim paid ransom for her release in Myanmar –BI

A Filipina, who was scammed into working for an online company in Myanmar was finally released after paying her ransom, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Saturday.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the repatriated Filipina arrived from Bangkok at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 last April 4.

He said the Filipina victim was recruited through Facebook. She had been promised a salary of $1,000 working as a customer service representative in Thailand.

Tansingco said the victim was instructed to pose as a tourist during immigration inspections.

When she arrived in Thailand,  a private car fetched the Filipina. After traveling for several hours, she arrived at a river crossing to Myanmar.

The victim said she was forced to work for almost 16 hours a day without a day off and proper compensation as a marketing scammer targeting Indian nationals. She was supposed to get her victims to invest in a platform known as “Pacific Mall.”

Tansingco said that, before she was released, the Filipina  was compelled to find three other Filipinos as her replacement.

The BI commissioner said the Filipina was able to contact a friend in the Philippines and provided fake flight itineraries that would look like four people were coming to Thailand to replace her.

He said the employers destroyed evidence on her mobile phone and escorted her back to Thailand where she sought help from the Philippine Embassy.

“It is very important that their employers be verified with the Department of Migrant Workers as this reduces their risk of being trafficked abroad,” Tansingco said in a statement released on Saturday.

“Our fellow Filipinos have been enslaved abroad without proper food and compensation. Some have even been physically abused and sexually assaulted. This is a global problem. We call on everybody to be alert. Do not fall prey to these scammers,” he added. — DVM, GMA Integrated News