Immigration officers intercepted two female victims of illegal recruitment who were bound for the United Arab Emirates at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the two victims presented themselves as legitimate overseas Filipino workers with valid overseas employment certificates and employment contracts.
However, primary inspection officers noted discrepancies in the documents and referred them to the TCEU for inspection.
The TCEU officers then presented the documents to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Labor Assistance Center officer on duty at the airport terminal to verify their authenticity.
“Through the checks, it was confirmed by the POEA officer on-duty that the contract the victims submitted were not verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Dubai, and were faked,” Morente said.
The victims admitted that they received their employment contract from an agent they met online a day before their flight.
“They were instructed by this fixer to delete all conversations from their phones pertaining to their travel. It was obviously a ploy to depart through illegal means,” Morente added.
Morente said similar schemes are suspected to be used on Filipina victims being illegally deployed to a third country, such as war-torn Syria.
“Illegal agencies falsify existing documents of legitimate OFWs,” he said.
“This modus operandi is a reemerging one, wherein the fixer falsifies employment contracts in the UAE, attaches it to an approved OEC, and submits it for primary inspection. We are able to intercept attempts when we see discrepancies in their records,” he added.