IMMIGRATION authorities stopped four Filipino women from leaving the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after they confessed that they were going abroad to become surrogate mothers to foreigners in exchange for the amount of US$8,700 or equivalent to P435,000.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the four victims and their female recruiter were about to board a Thai Airways flight at the Naia 1 terminal last Sunday when they were offloaded by personnel from the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit.
Morente said the four human trafficking victims admitted that after arriving in Bangkok they would proceed to Phnom Penh where they will be fetched by a Cambodian who arranged the deal with the foreigners who were supposed to father the babies they would bear.
“This is a new modus operandi of a human trafficking syndicate that preys on our Filipino women who are enticed to bear children of strangers for a fee because of their poverty. We cannot allow this to happen,” Morente said.
The BI chief commended the immigration officers who foiled the human trafficking operation even as he directed the bureau’s personnel at the Naia to be doubly vigilante in screening Filipino tourists departing for Thailand and Cambodia.
It was learned that the offloaded passengers themselves bared that another batch of would-be surrogate mothers were scheduled to depart at the Naia at an undisclosed date, hence the alert order.
A surrogate mother is defined as one who bears a child on behalf of another woman, either from her own egg fertilized by the other woman’s partner, or from the implantation in her uterus of a fertilized egg from the other woman.
The victims when interviewed said they were each promised a fee of US$8,700, US$200 of which will be paid after the first injection of the foreigner’s sperm into their uterus and US$500 will be added upon confirmation of the unborn child’s heartbeat.
The rest of the money, they said, will be paid in monthly installments during their pregnancy and until the baby is delivered and sent to the country of the paternal parent.
They added that their babies will be fathered by a German, a Nigerian, an Australian, and a Chinese, respectively.