Robertzon Ramirez, Rudy Santos – The Philippine Star
November 2, 2022 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Immigration officers prevented four Filipinas, possible victims of human trafficking, from leaving the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday.
The four women, whose names were withheld, were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino Itnternational Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1) on Oct. 17 as they were about to board a flight to Singapore, with connecting flights to Thailand, Laos and Dubai, according to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco.
Three of the victims had connecting flights to Bangkok, Thailand. They claimed they were going on a seven-day vacation.
“The intercepted Bangkok-bound passengers initially presented themselves on primary inspection as tourists, but later on admitted that they were recruited to work as customer service representatives to be deployed to Thailand and Laos. They were even promised payment of P50,000 once employed,” Tansingco said.
The women were allegedly recruited through Facebook ads.
Tansingco said the fourth woman claimed she was going on a five-day vacation to Singapore.
“As it turns out, she was offered a job as a household service worker in Dubai and she was instructed to stay in Singapore for five days while she waited for her United Arab Emirates visa,” he added.
Tansingco assured the public that immigration officers will “remain vigilant against any human trafficking attempt especially amid the ongoing influx of international passengers who will be vacationing during the holidays.”
All four victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance and further investigation.