Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport arrested a suspected human trafficker caught trying to escort out of the country three victims illegally recruited to work as housekeepers in Malta.
The victims claimed each of them paid P310,000 to the illegal recruiter for their placement fees and travel costs.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the suspect and his victims attempted to board an Eva Air flight to Malta at the NAIA Terminal 1 when they were intercepted by members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit.
Their names were not divulged as the law prohibits the public disclosure of names of victims in human trafficking cases.
BI NAIA 1 TCEU head Glenn Ford Comia said the victims initially claimed they were on a business trip and that they are employees of a recruitment agency.
“The immigration officer who processed them doubted the purpose of their travel, thus they were referred to the TCEU for secondary inspection,” Comia said.
The three victims admitted that they were not employees of the recruitment agency, and pointed to their other companion like the one who recruited them to work as housekeepers in Malta.
All four were turned over to the custody of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for investigation and filing of appropriate charges against the recruiter.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the intensified drive against human smuggling was the result of the rescue of three OFWs from possible abuse and exploitation in foreign lands.
Morente reiterated the warning against illegal recruiters saying and vowed to pursue criminal cases against them and put a stop to their illegal activities.