BI intercepts 2 women in Naia for faking age
MANILA, Philippines — Agents from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted two women at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2 after they were found faking their age.
In a statement issued Tuesday, BI Port Operations Division head Grifton Medina said that the two unidentified women, aged 19 and 20, were intercepted last Sept. 21 in their attempt to board a connecting flight from Dubai to Saudi Arabia.
Medina said both women presented valid passports, visas, job contract and overseas employment certificates. However, it was found that their birth dates were altered to make it appear they meet the age requirement for household service workers which is 23 years.
“Both women initially claimed that they were 26 years old, but eventually admitted their real age upon questioning,” Medina said.
The two women claimed that before they were booked for their flights, they were kept in a safe house in Paco, Manila by their handlers for two months.
BI Travel Control and Enforcement Unit Timotea Barizo added that the two women were also briefed and taught by their recruiters how to respond to questions from immigration officers.
“We’ve heard this in the past, usually victims would be briefed a few days before their flight. But now they’re actually housed for months to train on how to evade immigration questioning,” Barizo said.
“The two victims admitted that their documents were given only prior to departure, and that they were told to open it only after check-in. This forces them to go on and comply with the scheme despite the discrepancy since they are already there,” he added
With this, bureau commissioner Jaime Morente warned overseas Filipino workers not to fall prey into such scheme, and to transact only with agencies accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency. /je
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