THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has disallowed the departure at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) of four passengers believed to be victims of illegal recruitment.
The passengers, consisting of three females and one male, with ages ranging from 20 to 30 years old, were intercepted on suspicions that they were victims of an elaborate illegal recruitment scheme.
The hold-departure move was prompted by information from an anonymous source, providing details about the recruitment activities involving the four individuals.
According to the email, they had been deceived and recruited under false pretenses to work in Cambodia’s online casino industry.
The passengers initially claimed to be employed in the country, and were traveling as tourists. However, during the investigation, they confessed that they had been unlawfully recruited as telemarketers for an online gaming company, enticed with a promised monthly salary of $800.
The BI withheld the identities of the four in compliance with anti-trafficking laws. They were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance in filing legal cases against the recruiters.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco expressed deep concern over the case and issued a stern warning to professionals, urging them to exercise caution and vigilance against falling prey to deceptive recruitment schemes.
“Beware of schemes that promise legitimate call center jobs but ultimately lead individuals into engaging in criminal activities abroad. It is crucial to verify the authenticity of job offers and protect one’s own interests. We are committed to safeguarding the rights and welfare of our fellow citizens,” Tansingco warned.
He reminded aspiring overseas workers to only seek employment abroad through the Department of Migrant Workers, to ensure their protection from traffickers.