By Vito Barcelo
Immigration operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have rescued four human trafficking victims who were recruited to illegally work in Thailand, Laos, and Dubai.
According to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, four passengers, whose names were withheld for their protection, were intercepted at NAIA terminal 1 after they attempted to board a Tiger Air flight to Singapore.
Three of the victims had connecting flights to Bangkok, Thailand, claiming they were going on a 7-day vacation.
“The intercepted Bangkok-bound passengers initially presented themselves on primary inspection as tourists, but later on admitted that they were recruited to work as customer service representatives to be deployed to Thailand and Laos. They were even promised to receive P50,000 once employed,” Tansingco added.
The victims were allegedly recruited through Facebook ads.
Tansingco narrated the case of the other victim who earlier claimed that she was going on a 5-day vacation to Singapore.
“The other passenger was a woman in her late 30’s who disguised as a tourist. As it turns out, she was offered a job as a household serviceworker in Dubai and that she was instructed to stay in Singapore for five days while she waited for her UAE visa,” Tansingco said.
The BI chief slammed the illicit operations of illegal recruiters. “It is frustrating how these criminals have now evolved to using online ads to lure their victims,” he said.
“I assure the public that our officers will remain vigilant for anyhuman trafficking attempt especially amid the ongoing influx of international passengers who will be vacationing during the holidays,” added Tansingco.
All four victims were turned over to the Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.