The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Monday its officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently barred three suspect victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment from leaving the country.
According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI Port Operations Division Acting Chief Grifton Medina reported the victims were intercepted last week before they could board their flights to Europe and the Middle East.
Medina said one was bound for Dubai while the two others were going to Greece. All of them showed intentions to work illegally as undocumented workers.
“Thanks to the vigilance of our primary inspectors for foiling these attempts by human trafficking syndicates to sneak their victims out of the country,” Medina said, adding that the victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation.
According to BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) Head Ma. Timotea Barizo, “the Dubai-bound passenger was intercepted last 25 July 2020 after the immigration officer noticed that the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) was not cleared and validated by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration – Labor Assistance Center (POEA-LAC) desk at the NAIA.”
Verification with the POEA-LAC revealed the victims’ travel documents were fraudulent, including fake OECs and local employment certificates.