Immigration officials warn against ‘mail-order bride’ trafficking scheme

Immigration officials warn against ‘mail-order bride’ trafficking scheme

Feb 15, 2024, 2:37 AM
OpinYon News Team

OpinYon News Team

News Reporter

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials have raised the alarm on yet another scheme employed by human traffickers, this time through the “mail-order bride” modus.

This, after a Filipina was rescued Tuesday, February 13, as she was being transported to China on a flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The BI’s immigration protection and border enforcement section (I-PROBES) reported that the female, whose name has been withheld, attempted to depart for Xiamen at the NAIA Terminal 1, posing as a tourist with a Chinese man who claimed to be her husband.

The Chinese man, a worker in the Philippines, even presented an apostilled original certificate of marriage.

The immigration officer noted numerous inconsistencies in their statements and referred them for secondary inspection.

In the certificate, it was claimed that the couple got married in Kamasi, Maguindanao last in October 2022.

However, verification of the man’s travel records showed that he was not in the country during the supposed wedding.

The Filipina later admitted she did not personally process her marriage certificate, and had no idea how it was processed.

Based on the Chinese man’s statement, the marriage certificate was processed by an agency in China, for which they paid P40,000.

During inspection of the BI’s forensic documents laboratory, it was found that the documents presented were genuine, despite having fake details.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco suspects that this is another case of the mail order bride scheme.

“In the scheme, women are made to travel with their pseudo-husbands to be trafficked abroad,” he shared.

Tansingco cited previous cases bearing similar patterns.

Last January 18, a female victim was rescued at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) after being almost trafficked to Xiamen by a Chinese man who pretended to be the husband of a relative.

The victim later admitted that she is bound for China for an arranged marriage.

Records also show that the man, a permanent resident in the country, escorted another Filipina to China in 2019. The woman has not returned since.

In November last year, I-PROBES members also reported the repatriation of a Filipina from Xiamen.

She departed for China a month prior to her repatriation, together with a Chinese man who presented himself as a husband.

The man also presented an original marriage certificate proving their relationship.

However, the victim admitted that she had no idea that the man was her husband, and that she was deceived to agree to the arrangement.

She experienced verbal and physical abuse from her pseudo-husband, who demanded that she pay for her food and repeatedly threatened to kill her whenever she resisted having sexual intercourse with him.

“This is very concerning, since they are able to present authentic documents despite their sham marriages,” said Tansingco.

He shared that they have reported the incidents to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for filing of appropriate cases against the traffickers.

#Immigration #BI #BureauOfImmigration #MailOrderBride #Trafficking #OpinYon #WeTakeAStand

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