IMMIGRATION officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) foiled an attempt by a human trafficking syndicate to “smuggle” a family of four Arab nationals to the United Kingdom.
According to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, the four passengers, a mother, and her three children were intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 3 (T3) last November 23, 2022, after attempting to board a Cathay Pacific flight to Hongkong en route to their final destination in the UK.
Tansingco said the aliens presented Seychelles passports to the airlines and the immigration officer, who doubted the authenticity of the travel documents.
Examination conducted by the BI’s Forensic Documents Laboratory confirmed that the passports presented were “counterfeit.”
“They are now undergoing investigation by our legal division, after which they will be sent back for using spurious immigration documents,” Tansingco said.
Tansingco said it is apparent that the foiled human trafficking try was the “handiwork” of an international syndicate that attempts to use Manila as a transit or jump-off point for its victims.
Atty. Carlos Capulong, BI Port Operations chief, disclosed that the passengers arrived in Manila last Nov. 6 and stayed here for more than two weeks before booking their outbound flight.
“Until now, we are still trying to ascertain their true nationality as there is difficulty getting information from them,” Capulong said.
It was learned that BI personnel also confiscated the passengers’ UK national identity cards, which were found to be fake. By Jun I. Legaspi and Hector Lawas