BI arrests two ‘fake’ seamen at Naia
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has intercepted two fake seamen, who attempted to leave the country last week using bogus documents, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
Grifton Medina, BI port operations division chief, said Wednesday that that two men pretended to be seafarers as they presented fake overseas employment certificates (OECs), seaman’s books, and letters of guarantee from their alleged shipping agent.
The two men, whose names were not mentioned in BI’s statement, were immediately stopped from traveling to Hongkong en route to Dubai, United Arab Emirates last July 2 at Naia Terminal 3. Both were subsequently collared.
According to BI, an immigration officer was processing the documents of the two men when it was discovered that their OECs are not registered or encoded in the database of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
“During questioning, both of them admitted that they paid their handler P5,000 each for the spurious documents that they presented,” Medina said in a statement.
“The recruiters may have believed that we will be lenient in screening the papers of departing seamen,” Medina noted, but “they (recruiters) are mistaken because we screen all departing passengers thoroughly to prevent Filipinos from being victimized by these schemes.”
The two men have since been turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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