MANILA Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted two Palestinians and a Senegalese who attempted to leave the country with spurious travel documents.
In an advisory Thursday, BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina identified the foreigners as Yousef Hilles and Nour Muamar from Palestine and Senegalese Fallou Thiam who were stopped on June 28 and 29, respectively, after presenting a fake passport and visa.
He said the Palestinian couple was intercepted while attempting to board a flight to Malaysia. They were found using bogus United Arab Emirates passports with spurious Philippine immigration arrival and departure stamps.
The BI official added that the Senegalese passenger reportedly attempted to leave for Toronto with a counterfeit Canadian visa sticker on his passport.
This should serve as a warning to foreigners not to use the Philippines as a jump off point to other countries. You cannot elude the watchful eyes of immigration officers in our ports, Medina said in a statement.
Our personnel are highly skilled in detecting fraud, and we have the technology to instantly verify the authenticity of documents presented, he added.
On the other hand, BI travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) chief Timotea Barizo said the Palestinians admitted to have allegedly acquired their fake UAE passports for USD10,000.
He added that the couple, who resides in Malaysia, had just arrived from Fiji where they stayed for 20 days but were prevented from boarding their flight to New Zealand where they intended to stay for good.
As for Thiam, Barizo said the African claimed that he acquired his fake visa from a friend who works at the Canadian embassy in Senegal.
They were later returned to their port of origin and were placed in the BI's blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the Philippines. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency