Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have intercepted three suspected victims of human trafficking who attempted to leave the country disguised as tourists.
Meanwhile, BI operatives also arrested a Japanese fugitive wanted by authorities in Tokyo for robbery, extortion and involvement in telecommunications fraud.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the three passengers were apprehended before they could board an Air Asia flight to Bangkok, Thailand at the NAIA 3 terminal.
“There will be no letup in our campaign against human trafficking. We are sending a strong notice to these syndicates that we have doubled our vigilance in seeing to it that our poor Kababayans do not fall prey to theiractivities,” Tansingco said.
He said the trio later admitted that their finaldestinationwas Vientiane, Laos where theywere allegedly hired to workas customer service reresentatives and promisedsalaries of P30,000 to P40,000 a month
“The modus operandi employed here by the syndicate is fortheir victims who were disguised as tourists to initially fly toThailand where they would laterboard a connecting flight to Laos,”Tansingco said.
The passengers’ names werenot divulged as the law prohibitspublic disclosure of human trafficking victims.
According to BI travel controland enforcement unit (TCEU)head Ann CamilleMina, the victims gave iconsistent statements duringthe interview and presented fake employment documents.
They admitted however, thatthe documents were merelyhanded over to them at the airporthours before departure
The victims were laterturned over to the Inter-AgencyCouncil Against Trafficking (IACAT)for investigation and filing ofcharges against their recruiters.
The captured fugitive was identified as Yohhei Yano, 43, whowas arrested in Guimbal Port,Iloilo by operatives from the BI’sfugitive search unit (FSU).
Tansingco said Yano was arrested at the request of the Japanese authorities in Manila which sought the BI’s help in locating the fugitive.
“He will be deported for being an undesirable alien, as he is a fugitive from justice,” the BI chief added.
BI-FSU chief Rendel Ryan Sy disclosed that an arrest warrant was issued by the summary court in Yakkaichi, Japan on Aug. 4 last year after charges of robbery and extortion were filed against him before the said court.
Sy also bared that Yano is being investigated for involvement in the illegal activities of a Japanese syndicate which was said to have operated a telecom fraud racket in 2019.
“He is also an undocumented alien as his passport was already revoked by the Japanese government,” Sy said.
The suspect is now detained at the BI warden facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City pending deportation proceedings.