Immigration officers intercepted several trafficking victims bound for the United Arab Emirates who were given fake itineraries by their recruiters.
Commissioner Jaime Morente said they discovered an emerging modus wherein Filipino female workers present work documents bound for Maldives but are actually bound for the UAE.
He said this would fall under third-country recruitment, wherein overseas Filipino workers are being sent to work in one country before they are illegally transported to another.
“The same modus was usually seen in victims rescued from war-torn countries such as Syria,” he said.
BI-Travel Control and Enforcement Unit officers from NAIA Terminal 3 reported the interception of two female OFWs victims aged 26 and 33, who presented valid overseas employment certificates, work visas, employment contracts, and itineraries bound for Maldives.
However, upon verification with online systems, it was discovered that both victims were also in possession of valid tourist visas for the UAE.
The two OFWs admitted they received their documents only prior to departure, and one of the victims said she was instructed by their recruiter to conceal her UAE visa.
She admitted that they applied to work as domestic helpers, but were given documents to work as sales assistants in Maldives.
TCEU Officers from Clark International Airport, on the other hand, intercepted two other female victims.
Both presented documents to work in Maldives – one as an attendant and the other as a receptionist – but were also found to be in possession of visas for the UAE.
One of the victims admitted that she was promised work as a cleaner in UAE, and that she paid P37,000 to her recruiter for the processing of her travel documents.
Her companion, who was repatriated from the UAE last year, admitted she is heading back to work in the Middle East country as a household service worker.
“This scheme victimizes our kababayan and tricks them into accepting offers below standard rates. When they get to the third country, many end up being abused but do not report for fear of being deported,” Morente said.