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BI personnel probed for role in trafficking, escort services

/ 06:26 PM February 07, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an investigation and case build-up on the alleged involvement of Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials and personnel in human trafficking activities and escort services.

Guevarra said he issued Department Order 038 to the NBI after receiving reports that there are still Filipino workers headed for Kuwait despite the ban and other restricted places in the Middle East.

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“They would transit first in Malaysia or Indonesia, allegedly in connivance with some unscrupulous BI personnel,” Guevarra told reporters.

The Philippines imposed a total employment ban to Kuwait last month following the death of domestic helper Jeanelyn Villavende. The ban was partially lifted last Feb. 6.

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“If evidence warrants, file the appropriate charges against these officials and personnel and other persons found responsible therefor,” Guevarra said in his order addressed to NBI Director Dante Gierran.

The NBI Chief is required to submit a progress report within 30 days since the start of the investigation. The BI, meanwhile, welcomed Guevarra’s order.

“The Bureau is open and welcomes any investigation of its mother department, the Department of Justice, in uncovering any possible human trafficking and escort services in several international airports,” Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval said.

“We are at one with the DOJ in our goal of cleaning up our ranks.  As of mid-2019, we have dismissed from service and suspended more than 60 personnel for various offenses.  We will not hesitate to impose harsh penalties on others who are found to be committing such acts.  Violators will face both administrative and criminal cases.  This will serve as a warning to all who still attempt to conduct corrupt practices in the Bureau,” she added.

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TAGS: Bureau of Immigration, Escort Service, Human trafficking, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, NBI
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