The passengers were prevented from boarding their flight due to the suspicion that they were allegedly human trafficking victims after BI officers noted that their visas were fake.
Six Filipino women with counterfeit United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa were barred from leaving the country, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
The Filipinos were intercepted at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)-Terminal 3 on August 4 by the BI's Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) for attempting to board an Emirates flight to Dubai.
According to BI intelligence group chief Fortunato Manahan, the passengers were prevented from boarding their flight due to the suspicion that they were allegedly human trafficking victims, after the BI officers noticed the fraudulent UAE visas on their passports.
It was later confirmed by the BI forensic document laboratory that the visas were spurious.
BI reports said that during primary investigation, the women claimed they were balik-manggagawa, or overseas Filipino workers merely returning to their old employers.
They alleged to have been directly hired as domestic household workers but were unable to show any proof of such claim.
The female passengers were later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and filing of charges against their recruiters.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente warned the public that human trafficking syndicates are taking advantage of the pandemic to prey unsuspecting poor countrymen, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tags: #BureauOfImmigration, #NinoyAquinoInternationalAirport, #fakevisas, #overseasworkers