Filipina trafficking victim in Myanmar paid ransom for her release, says BI
MANILA, Philippines — A Filipina, who was trafficked and scammed to work in an online company in Myanmar, paid a ransom for her release, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Saturday.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the repatriated victim arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 from Bangkok on April 4.
The Filipina was recruited through Facebook to work as a customer service representative in Thailand and was promised $1000 (around P54,000).
“The victim was instructed to pose as a tourist during immigration inspections, and after her arrival in Thailand, she was fetched by a private car and traveled several hours to cross a river to Myanmar,” the BI said in a statement.
Based on the victim’s story, she worked 16 hours without a day off and compensation as a marketing scammer targeting Indian nationals to invest in a platform called “Pacific Mall.”
The agency further revealed that the victim’s employers instructed her to find three other Filipinos for replacement before they released her.
“The victim was then able to contact a friend in the Philippines who provided fake flight itineraries that would look like four people were coming to Thailand to replace her. After her employers destroyed [pieces of] evidence in her mobile phone, the Filipina was escorted back to Thailand, where she sought help from the Philippine Embassy in Thailand,” the BI revealed.
For his part, Tansingco said that employers should be verified with the Department of Migrant Workers to reduce cases of human trafficking among Filipinos.
“Our fellow Filipinos have been enslaved abroad without proper food and compensation. Some have even been physically abused and sexually assaulted,” he said.
“This is a global problem. We call on everybody to be alert. Do not fall prey to these scammers,” the BI chief added.