Remulla to NBI: Probe human trafficking

December 1, 2022 Hector Lawas 302 views

Of OFWs for crypto-scamming job in Myanmar

JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Thursday said he will ask the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the revelation of Sen. Risa Hontiveros linking unscrupulous Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel to alleged trafficking of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to war-torn Myanmar for a crypto-scamming job.

“We’re already investigating that. We’re asking the NBI to investigate it,” Remulla said in a chance interview.

“Well, yung findings ng hearing pa rin ang aming (iinbestigahan). We’re making the starting point of the investigation because the hearings were very revealing as to the modus operandi,” Remulla continued.

Filipino migrant workers were said to be human trafficking victims who were recruited as call center agents or workers for Philippine offshore gaming operators through various social media platforms.

But upon arriving in Myanmar, they were forced to engage in a cryptocurrency scam, which involved them establishing relationships with victims through Facebook, LinkedIn, and dating app Tinder.

During the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality hearing, Hontiveros presented a supposed victim who was recruited to work in a telemarketing company in Thailand but ended up working in Myanmar as a scammer of crypto currencies.

Hontiveros likened the new irregularity to the infamous “Pastillas Scheme.”

Under the Pastillas Scheme, Chinese visitors can seamlessly enter the country in exchange for bribes.

A Chinese citizen pays a P10,000 “service fee” – P2,000 of which will allegedly be shared among officials of the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), duty Immigration supervisor, and terminal heads.

Also, it was disclosed during congressional hearings that blacklisted Chinese fugitives would pay as much as P200,000 to “freely” enter the country.