BI warning: Human trafficking syndicates preying on younger folk
MANILA, Philippines – Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente on Sunday expressed grave concern over the fact that some would-be human trafficking victims are minors using tampered travel documents.
“Minors are more vulnerable to be duped by these syndicates, we reiterate our warning to those who want to work abroad — do not fall for these illegal schemes.” Morente said in a statement after two individuals were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) with falsifying their birthdates in a bid to work as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“We have to stop these recruiters from victimizing others,” he added.
According to BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina, the victims were intercepted last Wednesday at Naia Terminal 1 by agents of the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit.
Frontline immigration officers doubted the age of the two individuals during the secondary inspection due to inconsistencies in their answers and their demeanor.
“It later was later found that one of them is a minor, as she is only 15 years old while her companion is only 20 years old,” Medina said.
The said victims attempted to board a flight bound for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia allegedly to work as household service workers.
The minor, whose passport indicated that she was born in 1994, admitted that she was born in 2003, while the other would-be trafficking victim was born in 1998, although her passport indicated that she was born in 1994,
Medina noted that only those who are at least 23 years old are qualified for deployment as household service workers in the Middle East. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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