Airport officials hit over foreigners’ exit
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday exposed another criminal activity at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) that supposedly allows foreigners to leave the country without proper documentation and immigration clearance, which she believed is part of a human trafficking activity.
In a privilege speech, Poe pressed the Naia management to explain how eight undocumented foreigners, whom she described as “Asian-looking,” attempted to fly out of the country on Monday evening and defied attempts by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to prevent their departure.
“More than just a protocol glitch, the issue digs deeper as it involves national security and human trafficking. We call on the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to explain how individuals were able to fly out of the county with just a whim of uttered clearance from an immigration officer, without an amendment of the general declaration based on proper procedures,” she said.
Poe said the incident happened on Monday evening when a private Dassault Falcon 8X jet, with tail number N9527E, allegedly carried 11 foreigners out of the country, even though eight passengers did not have proper documentation.
The aircraft, which was scheduled to fly to Dubai, is operated by Cloud Nine No. 1 Leasing Company Ltd., a Hong Kong-registered leasing company, while its assigned aircraft ground handler is a local company, Globan Aviation Service Corp., Poe said.
Poe said the flight manifest listed only three crew members and six passengers, which supposedly conflicted with the BI records, which indicated that the flight was set to carry seven passengers: three from Saint Kitts and Nevis, a Malaysian, a Korean, a Chinese, a Vanuatu national.
After having been tipped about the irregularity, agents of the Aviation Security Group supposedly phoned the control tower to stop the jet’s departure, but the agents were told that it cannot hold the aircraft because it has already been given flight clearance, Poe said.
“At about 10:40 p.m., despite efforts to coordinate with Globan representatives and immigration officers, the aircraft continued to take off,” she said.
“Apparently, this is not the first time this happened,” the senator said. “In December 2022, some Chinese nationals also boarded a private aircraft and the plane took off without preflight inspection clearance. It was reported to the MIAA (Manila International Airport Authority) but no action was taken.” Pharmally execs
Upon questioning by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Poe said she suspected that Globan Aviation Service Corp. was the same flight service company that attempted to scurry two executives of controversial Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.—siblings Mohit and Twinkle Dargani—ahead of a Senate probe on a procurement mess.
The Darganis tried to sneak out of the country in November 2021 after they were implicated in the corruption scandal over the government’s purchase of pandemic supplies. Law enforcers were able to arrest them at the airport.
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