BI: Airline personnel in cahoots with human traffickers | Inquirer News

BI: Airline personnel in cahoots with human traffickers

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:30 AM April 11, 2023

Airport passengers with logo of Bureau of Immigration superimposed. STORY: BI: Airline personnel in cahoots with human traffickers

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday called on officials of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to investigate the possible involvement of airline personnel in facilitating the departure of victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

This came after immigration officers at NAIA Terminal 3 intercepted a woman who attempted to leave the country with a fake immigration departure stamp on her passport.


Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the incident happened on April 5 when the passenger was supposed to fly to Kuala Lumpur en route to the United Arab Emirates where she was recruited to work as a domestic household worker.


The woman narrated during questioning that she was assisted by an airline employee and the latter’s former officemate in queuing at the immigration departure counter.

The woman was apparently told to fall in line after her handler handed her passport and boarding pass, which had fake immigration departure stamps on them.

Tansingco said the woman was stopped from leaving after the immigration officer who examined her passport noticed that it already had an immigration departure stamp that appeared to be spurious. He added that the BI’s document forensic laboratory later confirmed that the stamp was indeed counterfeit.

“We urge airport authorities to dig deeper into these shenanigans and file the cases against those involved,” Tansingco said in a statement.

The immigration chief declined to name the airline associated with the passenger’s escorts, saying the case was already being investigated by Naia’s antitrafficking task force and its airport police department.

He said the incident should warn airline personnel that they should not connive with human traffickers and illegal recruiters.


“They should stop preying on our poor countrymen who want to work abroad due to poverty and their desire to uplift the lives of their families,” he added.

Last year, Naia security guards caught several passengers who attempted to leave without immigration inspection by wearing fake Naia passes in going to the airport’s boarding gate.

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Among those intercepted by immigration officials at Naia last year included those who used fake airport access passes and pretended to be employees of various airport concessionaires to be able to enter the boarding gates.

In a previous interview, the BI said the use of fake access passes at Naia has been a recurring problem, adding that its personnel had intercepted an entry using fake access pass as early as 2014.


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TAGS: airline personnel, Bureau of Immigration, human trafficking, Norman Tansingco

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