7 Filipino women illegally recruited to work in UAE blocked at Naia
MANILA, Philippines — Seven Filipino women illegally recruited to work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were intercepted by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations division chief Grifton Medina said the human trafficking victims were barred from leaving on Thursday at the departure area of Naia Terminal 3 as they were about to board a Cebu Pacific flight to Dubai.
Medina said the passengers were stopped by authorities who found that the documents they presented were fake.
According to Ma. Timotea Barizo, BI travel control, and enforcement unit chief, the women were caught in possession of fake Philippine Overseas Employment Administration clearances.
She added that they presented validation forms purportedly showing that their papers were checked and cleared by Labor Assistance Center personnel at the airport, but these were also found to be counterfeit.
“They admitted during interview that the bogus documents were given to them by their handlers and they were recruited via Facebook to work as domestic helpers in the UAE,” Barizo said in a statement Wednesday.
Medina, meanwhile, said that the incident should serve as a warning to syndicates operating the same modus.
“This should send a signal to these syndicates that there is no letup in our anti-trafficking campaign despite the 2019 nCoV ARD outbreak. Our departure areas remain off-limits to human traffickers and their victims,” said the immigration official.
The women were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for investigation.
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