Immigration officers foil human smuggling try at Naia 3
Nine Indian nationals believed to be victims of human smuggling were barred from entering the country after authorities discovered that their visas and travel documents were spurious.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said the foreigners were accosted by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Wednesday.
BI commissioner Jaime Morente said the Indians arrived aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong but were immediately booked on the first available flight to their port of origin, he said in a statement.
“I also ordered their inclusion on the blacklist because they are undesirable aliens who violated our laws by using spurious immigration documents in trying to enter our country,” Morente added.
The Indians were identified as Chinchorkar Udayan Raju, Surjit Singh, Kari Ram Kiran, Tandel Gatiraj narsinhbhai, Jaspreet Singh, Gore Chetan Vinod, Toppo Clinson Christophar, Varinder Singh, and Amandeep Singh.
BI port divisions chief Marc Red Mariñas said the foreigners claimed to be seafarers from Mumbai who were about to join a ship docked at the Batangas port.
They presented counterfeit single entry visas instead of valid seamen’s visas that should be acquired from a Philippine consulate abroad.
Mariñas said they verified with the concerned offices and confirmed that their visas were not issued by the BI.
“These were later found to have been fraudulently manufactured as it contained dubious letterheads and transaction reference numbers as well as bogus signatures and bar codes,” he added.
The Indians’ claim that they were joining a ship in Batangas also turned out to be false since the vessel they named had left and was already in Singapore.
“Our seaport operations section said it never received any advice or notice from a shipping agent here informing us about the impending arrival of these alleged foreign seafarers,” Mariñas said.
Morente said they had launched an investigation to determine whether BI employees or NAIA personnel were involved in the foiled human smuggling attempt. CBB/rga