BI working with IACAT to crack down on trafficking syndicates
MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco said on Thursday that they are now focusing on investigations into human trafficking and warned their employees not to engage in illegal practices.
According to Tansingco, the bureau is keen and coordinating with the Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in uncovering trafficking and illegal recruitment syndicates.
“We are working with the IACAT to look [at] how this syndicate runs,” he said in a press release from the bureau.
“We have leads on big-time traffickers so that they can be arrested and jailed,” he added.
The BI reported that 17 trafficking victims were recently intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. They attempted to travel to Hong Kong on Thursday, posing as employees of a trading corporation in the Philippines
“We highly suspect that they have also been recruited illegally to work abroad, hence they were given fake documents to present to immigration,” Tansingco said.
The commissioner also warned the bureau’s employees not to be involved in felonious transactions.
“If we are able to confirm that we have employees involved in trafficking activities then they will face the harshest penalties of law,” he said.
On Wednesday, the BI reported that it intercepted a trafficking victim who faked the signature of IACAT’s Undersecretary Nicholas Felix Ty, posing as an employee of the Department of Justice.
The bureau also recalled that on October 6, four illegal recruitment victims and their two couriers were intercepted. The six attempted to leave the country, disguised as tourists.
All the trafficking victims were turned over to IACAT, the BI noted. Further investigation and filing of cases against the recruiters will be done, the bureau said.