Bangkok-bound ‘tourists’ held at airport
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente on Thursday warned recruiters and their men that they could face life behind bars if convicted for human trafficking.
Morente issued the warning after four undocumented Filipino women hired to work as household service workers in Dubai were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after attempting to fly to Bangkok as tourists.
Their recruiter, also a woman, was also barred from departing.
The four women—whose identities were not divulged in compliance with the antitrafficking law—presented documents to show they were traveling to Thailand for a vacation.
But their inconsistent testimonies gave them away, according to the Bureau of Immigration’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU).
TCEU chief Timotea Barizo said the women initially claimed to be employed by their recruiter’s travel agency.
“During immigration inspection, the recruiter would act as the spokesperson for the entire group. She kept on answering for everyone, and has everyone’s documentation. This caused our officers to further doubt their story, hence they verified and eventually discovered the deceit,” Barizo said.
During interrogation, the women eventually admitted that their passports have been stamped with United Arab Emirates visas and that their final destination is Dubai.
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