BI intercepts 4 crypto scam trafficking victims
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has intercepted four alleged cryptocurrency scam trafficking victims who attempted to depart for Singapore.
According to BI Travel Control and Enforcement Unit Chief Ann Camille Mina on Thursday, they received intelligence information about the four individuals attempting to depart via a Jetstar Airlines flight to Singapore last Mar. 1.
“We received intelligence information from the National Bureau of Investigation and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) NAIA Task Force Against Trafficking about the departure of the victims, that were said to be actually bound for Cambodia to work in offshore gaming operations,” said Mina in a statement.
“We were able to intercept their attempt and prevent them from being victimized abroad,” she added.
The BI said that a female recruiter, traveling with her four-year-old child, escorted the four.
The victims, the bureau said, claimed to be employees of a manpower agency, but they made several contradictory statements during their interview.
They eventually admitted to paying their recruiter P10,000 each as a down payment for their trip.
“These recruiters are crafty with their schemes, by using families with children as couriers,” BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said in the same statement.
“We have seen how victims have been exploited, and even physically abused abroad. Aspiring OFWs should not accept offers they receive via social media. They should always secure work abroad through the Department of Migrant Workers,” he continued.
The victims and their recruiter were handed over to the IACAT for further investigation. – Meralyn Melitante, trainee