Immigration officials caught 17 Filipino migrant workers with fake overseas employment certificates at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila earlier this week.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division chief Grifton Medina said 10 of the migrant workers were intercepted at Terminal 1 of the airport, while the rest were stopped at Terminal 2. They were bound for Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, Philippine News Agency reported.
“Those victims with questionable documents will be immediately subjected to secondary inspection,” Medina said. Medina added that all immigration personnel had been alerted to look for bogus documents used by Filipino workers who were victims of human trafficking syndicates and illegal recruiters.
According to Erwin Ortañez, the head of BI Travel Control and the Enforcement Unit, those detained had working visas and job contracts, but presented fake Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) clearances and pre-departure orientation seminar certificates and overseas employment certificates.
“They mistakenly thought we will lower our guard due to a large number of travelers during the Lenten break. But we were on full alert. Their scheme did not work,” Ortañez said.