Trafficking cases alarm authorities | Inquirer News

Trafficking cases alarm authorities

BI Commissioner Norman G. Tansingco conducts an inspection of operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals 1, 2, and 3. (Photo from the Facebook page of the Bureau of Immigration)

MANILA, Philippines — Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco expressed alarm at the increasing number of human trafficking cases in the country and urged Filipinos to be wary of job offers, particularly on social media.

“These transnational crimes are becoming more and more alarming, and I call on everyone to remain vigilant,” Tansingco said as he announced the return of six trafficking victims from Laos.


The six Filipinos, who escaped their employers in Laos after being trafficked to engage in illegal work by syndicates, arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport via Philippine Airlines flight PR741 on Thursday.


The week before, on March 30, immigration officials at Mactan-Cebu International Airport intercepted a Senegalese woman traveling to South Korea with two minors.

“It appears that these Africans were victimized by a trafficking syndicate that uses the Philippines as a transit point for smuggling illegal aliens to other countries,” Tansingco said in a statement.

Based on Bureau of Immigrations’s (BI) report, the victims were about to board a Korean Airlines flight when immigration officers noticed their passports did not have arrival stamps.

Global problem

“When asked why their passports did not have arrival stamps and how they arrived in the country, they claimed that they arrived in the country on board a boat,” the BI explained.

The agency said that the victims were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Cebu before allowing them to return to their port of origin.

“This incident proves that human trafficking is not just a Philippine problem,” Tansingco said. “It is a global problem that should be combatted through the combined efforts of all governments throughout the world.”


Modus operandi

According to Tansingco, the case of the six Filipinos was part of a string of human trafficking occurrences that were reported over the past months in Southeast Asian countries, he said in a statement.

“The victims, who left the country on separate occasions, were recruited to supposedly work as chat support agents in Thailand. From Thailand, they were instead brought to Laos where they were forced to work for syndicates,” the BI said.

It added that the victims were forced to work under a company where they were told to dupe foreigners into falling in love with them and then encouraging them to invest in a fraudulent company.

According to the BI, the victims also revealed that they were sold three times from one company to another before they managed to reach out to the Philippine Embassy through online communication.

On the day of the return of the six Filipinos, the police arrested two Chinese men who allegedly detained a Vietnamese woman and threatened to sell her to an offshore gaming company if her family did not pay a ransom of P300,000.

The Southern Police District identified the two Chinese men as Shiejie Fan, 27, and Dajun Yang, 35.

They were arrested after Malaysian national Vu Kie Loong, 28, told the police that the two suspects tricked a 31-year-old Vietnamese woman into working in the Philippines.

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The victim’s employers supposedly held her in several locations in Pasay City and Parañaque City, instead of the company where she was supposed to work.

TAGS: Bureau of Immigration, human trafficking, Norman Tansingco

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