Don’t exploit int’l events for ‘trafficking’ – BI

May 6, 2023 Jun I. Legaspi 243 views

BUREAU of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco warned traffickers not to exploit international events to lure trafficking victims.

Tansingco shared that events such as sports competitions, gaming competitions, and concerts may be used by traffickers to attempt to circumvent strict departure formalities.

“In the past, we have recorded victims who claimed they were set to join beauty pageants, and shows, only to find out that they were being trafficked abroad,” shared Tansingco.

The reminder comes after a letter from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) requesting that the latter provide adequate warning to athletes, supporters, and attendees of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games of the risks of trafficking in Cambodia.

The DOJ likewise requested that the PSC issue official endorsements that will aid immigration officers in establishing spectators’ declared purpose of travel and in identifying potentially trafficked or illegally recruited persons.

The SEA Games is currently being held in Cambodia from May 5 to 17.

It can be recalled that the BI sounded the alarm on the increase of trafficked Filipinos in Cambodia by a cryptocurrency and call center scam targeting young urban professionals.

Tansingco assured the DOJ that they will continuously monitor departing passengers.

“Those who will be traveling for legitimate purposes need not worry,” assured Tansingco. “We are sending a warning to illegal recruiters not to abuse international events as we remain on the lookout to prevent victims from being trafficked,” he added.