2 Koreans pretending to be spouses of Filipinos nabbed at Naia
MANILA, Philippines — Two Koreans pretending to be spouses of Filipinos while using fake entry visas were caught at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on Sunday, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Tuesday.
The Koreans arrived at Naia aboard an Aseana Airlines flight from Incheon, South Korea, according to a report sent to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
The Koreans were identified as Kim Jeongseong, 28, and Lee Seohyeon, 24 — both of whom were sent back to their port of origin.
“They both presented bogus tourist visas and marriage certificates purportedly showing that they are married to Filipino citizens,” BI Intelligence Division chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. said on Tuesday.
Both were placed on the BI blacklist of undesirable aliens, which would effectively prevent them from re-entering the Philippines.
According to BI Port Operations Division chief Candy Tan, Kim and Lee were referred for a secondary inspection by immigration officers who doubted the legitimacy of their and their marriage certificates.
“Examination of the said documents by the BI’s forensic documents laboratory later confirmed that these are counterfeit,” BI said.
“Members of the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU), who questioned the passengers, reported that the aliens could not answer basic questions regarding their alleged Filipino spouses,” it added.
Morente said that this incident should serve as a warning to foreigners planning to enter the country using fake documents just to avoid travel restrictions that were placed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also urged BI personnel to remain vigilant to stop violators from slipping through the country’s borders.
“These acts of fraud and misrepresentation will not succeed because our officers in the airports are adept in detecting spurious travel documents,” Morente said.
— With a report from Zac Sarao, trainee
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