Immigration officers at the Clark International Airport have intercepted five overseas Filipino workers who attempted to leave the country under the guise of tourists, officials said Wednesday.
BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina said the five passengers, all women, were intercepted—when they did not say—for attempting to board their flights to Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
The three women were bound for Kota Kinabalu where they were hired to work as nightclub entertainers while the two were going to work in Lebanon as domestic helpers, officials said.
The three, believed victims of a human trafficking syndicate, were allegedly enticed by a job offer they received online, and met a certain ‘Danilo’ in a mall in Quezon City where they reportedly paid up to P10,000 for their recruitment.
They admitted to have been offered to work in a pub in Kota Kinabalu, and that their documents would be given to them in Hong Kong.
The two, on the other hand, presented fake visas to UAE and admitted to have been offered jobs in Beirut, and were instructed by their recruiter not to reveal their true destination.
“Obviously these women have been victimized by unscrupulous human trafficking syndicates that prey on the poor,” Medina said.
“We must pursue cases against these illegal recruiters to protect our fellow Filipinos from exploitation in foreign lands and fall into prostitution, or be enslaved and given salaries far below industry standards,” he said.
“Illegal recruiters will put their victims in a tight spot. The victims, knowing that they entered through illegal means, would be forced to agree to the unfair work conditions given to them and would even be asked to pay via salary deduction hefty sums for their recruitment,” Medina said.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente suspects that “trafficking syndicates may attempt to divert their operations to other international airports due to the numerous interceptions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.”
All five were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and assistance.