THE Bureau of Immigration (BI), in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), has again raised concerns about human trafficking.
“This problem is both severe and complex,” said BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco. “Hence there is a need for collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, intelligence units, and the private sector,” he added.
The efforts align with the recent Notice issued by Interpol, highlighting the escalating threat posed by large-scale human trafficking, where victims are duped into committing crimes within pseudo-call centers.
As early as last year, Philippine immigration authorities have closely monitored this modus, which Interpol said has transformed from a regional crime phenomenon to a global threat.
Victims are usually enticed through job advertisements online, only to find themselves trapped in online scam centers where they are forced to engage in criminal activities.
The Interpol notice described the scheme as double-edged in nature, as it victimizes both the trafficked individuals and a second set of victims targeted by online fraud. The trafficked victims endure forced labor, extortion, physical and sexual exploitation, and even organ harvesting. Simultaneously, the online scam centers perpetrate various fraudulent activities, such as investment scams, romance scams, and cryptocurrency-related fraud.