BI nabs alleged human trafficker at Clark airport

MANILA A suspected courier for a human trafficking syndicate was apprehended by Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Clark International Airport (CIA) in Angeles City, Pampanga.

In his report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente Thursday, BI-CIA Chief Joseph Quizon said the passenger, a Filipino-Taiwanese woman, who was about to board a flight to Taipei, when intercepted after airport security officers discovered that she had 22 Philippine passports in her possession, on Monday.

The passports were found inside her luggage and she admitted during questioning that these belong to people who were recruited by her bosses to work in Malta without appropriate permits and proper documents, he said in a statement.

Quizon said the identity of the woman was not divulged due to a prohibition in the anti-trafficking law.

He added that the victims already paid the syndicate PHP150,000 in return for processing their working visas in Malta, which would be done in Taiwan.

On the other hand, immigration officers Virgilio Notario Jr. and Maria Rocio Theresa Ayson of the Bureau's Travel Control and Enforcement Unit said the suspect identified two Maltese nationals as her contacts who would arrange the job placement for the victims.

We have learned that some of the recruits were already demanding the return of their money as they had waited too long and given up on their overseas job prospects, they reported.

The suspect, who alleged she is a former Filipino from Pampanga, was turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and filing of charges.

Meanwhile, Morente reiterated his warning to those seeking to work abroad not to deal with illegal recruiters or they might end up losing their life's savings.

Deal only with licensed recruiters to ensure that your rights and welfare are guaranteed and protected, he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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