BI agents stop 9 trafficking victims from leaving for Korea
Nine more suspected human trafficking victims who tried to pass themselves off as tourists to South Korea have been intercepted by Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina said the nine were about to board a flight to Taipei when they were stopped by members of the bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) on Thursday.
“They admitted that they were actually destined for Korea where they were illegally recruited to work as orange pickers in a plantation on Jeju Island,” Medina added.
According to him, the nine first claimed that they were going to watch an acrobatic show on the island.
However, when asked, they had no idea what the show was all about and their answers to the questions posed by immigration officers “were highly inconsistent,” Medina said.
“When pressed [about] the actual purpose of their trip, they confessed that they were hired to work with a promised monthly salary of P65,000,” he added.
The victims, who were not identified due to a prohibition in the antitrafficking law, were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance and further investigation.
Naia Terminal 3 BI-TCEU chief Glen Comia said that just days before, immigration officers had intercepted eight other trafficking victims bound for Cyprus.
“It appears that only one syndicate was behind the recruitment of these victims,” Comia said.
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