3 Filipino Jeju-bound ‘tourists’ intercepted at NAIA
MANILA, Philippines — Three Filipinos who claimed they were hired to work in Jeju, South Korea were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after immigration officers found they might have been duped by their recruiter.
Bureau of Immigrations Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (BI-TCEU) said the three were stopped at the departure area of NAIA Terminal 1 on January 22 before they were able to board a flight to Hong Kong where they were supposed to get on a connecting flight to Jeju.
According to BI-TCEU chief Ma. Timotea Barizo, the men initially claimed they had jobs here in the country and that they were going to Korea only for vacation.
“But what sparked the curiosity of our officers is when the trio showed seemingly-spurious company IDs that… they showed as proof of local employment,” Barizo said in a statement on Wednesday.
She added that the three also appeared to not know each other despite presenting themselves as travel companions.
Prodded by questioning, the three later admitted they were recruited by a man they met on Facebook and who convinced them to book their flight to Korea.
“There was no assurance, however, that jobs really awaited them upon arriving in Jeju. They were just told that somebody would contact them when they arrived there,” Barizo said.
“They were promised work as radish farmers and were offered huge salaries,” she added.
They also later admitted to have spent P30,000 each for the services of a tour operator, which their recruiter promised will book their flight and arrange their trip to Jeju.
“They were duped by their recruiter and travel agents who were only after their money,” Barizo added.
The men were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance and further investigation.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.