4 Dubai-bound undocumented Pinay household workers stopped at NAIA
MANILA, Philippines — Four undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were hired to work as household workers in Dubai were barred from leaving the country at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Thursday.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the four OFWs were stopped as they were heading to board a Bangkok flight at NAIA Terminal 3 last October 9, claimed that they are traveling to Thailand as tourists.
The OFWs also claimed to be employees of their recruiter’s travel agency. It was their recruiter who arranged their trip to Bangkok, the women said.
“They pretended that they all knew each other as they were co-workers and friends,” Medina said.
“But our immigration officers found numerous inconsistencies in their statements. They all eventually admitted having United Arab Emirates (UAE) visas in their possession and that their final destination is Dubai where they were recruited to work as household service workers,” he added.
The OFWs, as well as their recruiter who attempted to vouch for their trip to Bangkok, were all turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and filing of appropriate charges.
BI travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) chief Timotea Barizo said that human trafficking patterns show that victims are being made to look like they are employed by their recruiters.
“We are in the midst of an intensified campaign against human trafficking, thus we are warning aspiring OFWs to comply with the rules and requirements for overseas workers,” Morente said.
“We are likewise warning recruiters and other cohorts not to attempt to assist or vouch for illegal workers, as you will face human trafficking cases which could lead to life imprisonment,” he added. /muf
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