MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) warned undocumented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Jeddah against an extortion scheme promising a faster way back to the Philippines for a fee.
The Consul General in Jeddah had received reports that people posing as personnel of the district passport office or “Jawazat” were approaching undocumented OFWs and asking for 100 Riyals payment in exchange for being repatriated, the DFA said in a statement Tuesday.
“The OFWs are really brought to the airport but they will not be able to leave,” it said.
The Jawazat personnel had claimed they were helping the OFWs go back home upon orders of the King of Saudi Arabia, the DFA said.
“This information has been confirmed by the Consulate with the Jawazat. The Jawazat said that there was no such order from the King and that no one can be sent home without going through the process under the repatriation and regularization program,” DFA said.
“We reiterate that the repatriation is free of charge and anyone who gets an exit visa but is unable to buy airplane tickets may ask for help from the Consulate,” it added.
The DFA reminded that there are no such charges or fees to get a “reference number” on their travel document, to have their fingerprints recorded, or to get exit visas.
Those who have fallen victim to such schemes, or have information to share, they may call the Consulate at 02-6198478 or go to the Assistance-to-Nationals Section at the second floor of the consulate, the DFA said.