1 Apr 2024 – BI detects ‘bitbit,’ a new human trafficking scheme

Published by rudy Date posted on April 1, 2024

Evelyn Macairan – The Philippine Star
April 1, 2024 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Immigration officials issued a warning about the “bitbit” human trafficking scheme, wherein Filipino women are persuaded to work in the flesh trade abroad.

In the bitbit scheme, “a frequent traveler would attempt to transport a female victim who will be deceived into working as a sex worker abroad,” Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said.

On March 22, a male trafficker and his victim were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

They posed as cohabiting partners and attempted to depart for Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The male suspect recently traveled to Malaysia with another Filipino woman who he also claimed was his partner, based on records. The woman has not returned to the Philippines.

Authorities turned over the latest victim to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.

The suspect could face charges for violating the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022.

Tansingco recalled a 2023 case when a victim illegally boarded a sailboat in Palawan going to Malaysia.

The victim reached a hotel in Sibu, Malaysia that housed sex workers.

“She was held captive. Disturbingly, she was subjected to appalling conditions, including being denied food if she failed to satisfy the demands of her captors. She was even forced to undergo an abortion when they discovered she was with child,” Tansingco said. — Rudy Santos, Evelyn Macairan

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