BI exposes elaborate human trafficking scheme

BI exposes elaborate human trafficking scheme

/ 02:55 PM November 07, 2023

BI exposes elaborate human trafficking scheme

The Bureau of Immigration logo is superimposed over the airport scene. FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it uncovered an emerging trafficking scheme that targets overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with expiring contracts.

According to the BI, the scheme facilitates the departure of trafficking victims to work destinations that are different from what was indicated in their valid employment documents.


BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that perpetrators offer OFWs with expiring contracts to work in other Middle Eastern countries. They would then use the contracts to depart.


“This modus operandi aims to mislead our immigration officers as the victims do have valid employment permits to a certain country where they had previously worked, but actually their intention is to work somewhere else,” he said in a statement.

READ: BI intensifies campaign vs human trafficking

The discovery of the scheme came after three passengers, all women, were intercepted by immigration personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Citing their Immigration Protection and Border Enforcement Section (I-PROBES), the BI said that the presented documents of the two of the passengers, who were intercepted on November 1, show that they were going to return to their former employers in Saudi Arabia.

However, the women admitted that they were actually bound for work in Dubai. The BI said that they preferred not to return to their former employers and instead try their luck in Dubai, where they were promised jobs by recruiters they met online or referred to them.

READ: Returning OFWs warned vs syndicates offering high paying jobs abroad

I-PROBES recalled an encounter last October 31, wherein a repatriated OFW from Iraq shared how she could depart as a returning worker to Dubai. Although there was no intention of returning to her former employer, the woman used a valid overseas employment certificate to leave the country.

The BI noted that the woman could work in a beauty salon in Iraq. However, instead of receiving the promised US$800 monthly salary, she only received a monthly pay of US$150, prompting her to seek the assistance of the Philippine embassy in Baghdad.

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TAGS: Bureau of Immigration, NAIA, overseas Filipino workers

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