A SUSPECTED accomplice of a cryptocurrency syndicate was apprehended at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 while attempting to smuggle several overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Cambodia out of the country.
The suspect was apprehended by the NBI-International Airport Investigation Division (NBI-IAID) for large-scale illegal recruitment and attempted trafficking.
The NBI received information that certain individuals were departing from NAIA Terminal 1 bound for Singapore but were actually headed to Cambodia for employment in offshore gaming.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) was alerted to place an alert on the individuals. Upon their arrival at NAIA Terminal 1, immigration officers denied their departure and turned them over to the NBI-IAID along with the suspect.
After investigation, the NBI-NAIA apprehended the target suspect, who was presented for e-inquest proceedings on March 3, 2023, before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Section 4-A (Attempted Trafficking in Persons) of RA (Republic Act) 9208 as amended and violation of RA 8042 (Large Scale Illegal Recruitment).
Earlier, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) of the Justice Department warned OFWs about the recruitment tactics of cryptocurrency syndicates on social media platforms.
This cautionary advisory followed the repatriation of eight OFWs from Cambodia who claimed they were enticed by promises of high salaries but were subsequently victimized by “crypto scammers.”
The victims were promised salaries of up to US$1,000 per month and were compelled to work without a day off for up to 18 hours a day.