THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has expressed concern over the alarming increase in cases of counterfeit documents being used by overseas-bound travelers.
The BI said during the past week, it has encountered several cases of fake documents presented by outbound passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Just recently, a male passenger bound for Bangkok, Thailand, was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 3 for alleged possession of dubious travel papers.
The man initially claimed that he was a tourist, but a thorough examination of his passport revealed a valid Malta Visa stamped “CANCEL.”
Officers doubted the annotation on his visa, and interviews revealed that he had been instructed to pose as a tourist bound for Malta where he was recruited with the help of a relative.
Also this week, two female victims of apparent illegal recruitment were interviewed at the NAIA Terminal 1 while attempting to travel to Dubai. They presented counterfeit Saudi Arabia re-entry visas, despite their actual intention to seek employment in Dubai.
One of the victims disclosed that she had met a recruiter on Facebook, who provided them with the forged documents just outside the airport shortly before their departure.
On May 23, the BI intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 1 two women bound for Poland. They allegedly presenting fake overseas employment certificates (OECs), which acquired through Facebook. The women admitted they paid P500 online for the spurious documents.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said he was concerned and frustrated by the proliferation of fake documents, saying, “these syndicates are issuing fake doc ments and sweet-talk our kababayans into agreeing to their illegal schemes.”
“Never agree to these kinds of arrangements, and only apply through the Department of Migrant Workers,” he added.