A Vietnamese couple were arrested by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for attempting to leave the country with fake immigration stamps on their passports.
The foreigners, identified as Nguyen Thanh Quang and his wife Pham Thi Dung, attempted to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Ho Chih Minh City when they were intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 2 by members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit.
“Their passports had arrival stamps indicating that they arrived only last March 11 but a check of our database showed that they did not arrive on that day,” according to BI-Port Operations chief Grifton Medina.
He said the BI’s anti-fraud section which examined the passports certified that the arrival stamps imprinted on the couple’s passports were not authentic.
“They thought they could evade paying their fines for overstaying by making it appear that they arrived only recently through these fake arrival stamps. These fraudulent schemes cannot escape detection by our vigilant officers at the airport,” Medina said.
According to BI-TCEU Chief Erwin Ortañez, the couple had been in the country for nine months as their last date of arrival was June 5 last year.
“Instead of applying for the extension of their stay and pay the required fees, they chose to deal with fixers who make a living by selling these fake stamps to overstaying foreign tourists,” Ortañez said.
He disclosed that the couple’s fraudulent scheme was discovered after BI personnel noticed that their passports did not have departure stamps from their supposed previous arrival.
The couple is now detained at the BI detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City pending their prosecution for violating the Philippine Immigration Act.