Immigration authorities held three Georgian nationals who tried to enter the country through the Ninoy Aquino International Airport using bogus Canadian visas in their passports.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said Georgians were immediately apprehended upon their arrival at the NAIA aboard an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi.
Medina said the foreigners plan to use Manila as a transit point prior to leaving for Canada.
“The Georgians initially presented themselves as humanitarian workers on a business vacation sponsored by an international non-government organization. Our officers found out that these aliens planned to stay in Manila for two days, then fly to Qatar and Azerbaijan, before sneaking into Canada,” said Medina.
He said the incident was an attempt to use the Philippines as a jump-off point to illegally enter Canada.
Although the Georgians had valid Philippine entry visas, they were subjected to secondary inspection after immigration officers noticed irregularities on the Canadian visas attached in their passports.
Immigration forensic experts certified that the Canadian visas are counterfeit, a finding which was later corroborated by Canadian embassy officials who described the travel documents as “non-existent in their system”.
The foreigners will be charged for violation of the Philippine Immigration Act.
Two months ago, airport and immigration authorities also barred an African national from entering the country for using spurious travel documents.
Airport authorities recently installed high-tech cameras in each immigration counter at the NAIA to capture images of all departing and arriving passengers in line with the heightened security measure being enforced at the airport.