IMMIGRATION authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rescued four human trafficking victims who were recruited to work illegally in Thailand, Laos, and Dubai.
According to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, four passengers, whose names were withheld for their protection, were intercepted at NAIA Terminal 1 after they attempted to board a Tiger Air flight to Singapore last October 17, 2022.
Three of the victims had connecting flights to Bangkok, Thailand, claiming they were going on “a 7-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 to receive 50,000 pesos once employed,” Tansingco added.
Said victims were allegedly recruited through Facebook ads.
Tansingco further disclosed the case of the other victim, who earlier claimed she was going on a 5-day vacation to Singapore.
“The other passenger was a woman in her late 30s who disguised as a tourist. 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 UAE visa,” Tansingco shared.
The BI chief then lamented the ongoing schemes of illegal recruiters. “It is frustrating how these criminals have now evolved to using online ads to lure their victims,” he said.
“I assure the public that our officers will remain vigilant for any human trafficking attempt, especially amid the ongoing influx of international passengers who will be vacationing during the holidays,” added Tansingco.
Tansingco, meanwhile, lauded the immigration officers who foiled the trafficking attempt.
“Our officers should be commended for showing how it is to be effective public servants. They work day in and day out to assure that nobody is victimized by illegal recruiters,” he said.
All four victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation. By Jun I. Legaspi and Hector Lawas