BI: Human smuggling foiled at Naia
Nine Indian nationals were barred from entering the country after authorities found their visas and travel documents to be spurious. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said the foreigners were accosted by immigration officers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 on Wednesday. BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Indians arrived on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong, and were immediately booked for a return flight upon the discovery of the fake documents. The Indians were identified as Chinchorkar Udayan Raju, Surjit Singh, Kari Ram Kiran, Tandel Gatirajnarsinhbhai, 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. But they presented counterfeit single entry “visa-upon-arrival” papers instead of valid seaman’s visas that they are required to secure from a Philippine consulate abroad. Further verification showed that their visas were not issued by the BI. An investigation was launched to check if there were BI employees or Naia personnel involved in the foiled human smuggling attempt. —Julie M. Aurelio
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