BI stops nearly 38K suspected trafficking victims in 2017
Close to 38,000 suspected trafficking victims were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and various seaports across the country in 2017, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Thursday.
Marc Red Mariñas, chief of the BI Port Operations Division, said that a total of 37,856 travelers were barred from leaving the country for failing to comply with government regulations and requirements under the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).
“Most of the passengers were stopped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport while the rest were offloaded in the ports of Mactan, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, Davao, and Zamboanga,” according to Mariñas.
Julius Caesar Feria III, chief of the BI travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU), said most of the offloaded passengers were using bogus travel documents.
“Many of these offloaded passengers were caught in possession of fraudulent supporting documents. Some resorted to misrepresentation while others had tampered or unverified employment visas,” Feria noted.
“The bulk of the passengers, also known as ‘tourist workers’, were bound for the Middle East while some were destined for other countries in Asia, Europe, and North America,” he also said.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente prodded officers manning the country’s airports and seaports to remain vigilant in screening departing Filipino travelers.
“We should not allow these syndicates to prey on our poor countrymen by enticing them to illegally travel abroad without proper documentation,” Morente said. /kga
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.