Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Photo: Google Maps

Immigration officials stopped 11 people from leaving the Philippines this month after it was discovered they were illegally recruited to work overseas.

Grifton Medina, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations division chief, said the 11 Filipinos posed as tourists and were intercepted at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, Philippine News Agency reported.

“All of them were bound for countries other than what they presented, in an apparent effort to mislead immigration officers about their destination and purpose of travel,” Medina said.

Two of the passengers were stopped from leaving for Singapore on May 19 after authorities found they were actually bound for Doha, Qatar, for work. The BI said the two were accompanied by employees of a manpower agency known to hire Filipinos online for jobs overseas.

On May 21, seven women claimed they were heading to Brunei for a vacation, but it was later discovered they were heading to Malaysia to work as waitresses. The Filipinas were offered high salaries but had to pay a hefty placement fee to their unknown recruiters.

The last interception was on Monday when immigration officers stopped two Filipinos from heading to Japan with their recruiter. The two admitted they were heading to Japan, but then flying on to Korea, where they would work without permits. The two also paid their recruiter 20,000 pesos for assistance.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente reminded Filipinos not to fall for online recruitment schemes that involve “misrepresentation and deceit.”

“These illegal recruiters only want to earn, but once a worker needs assistance, they suddenly disappear,” Morente said.

Filipinos were advised to check the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration for jobs overseas and not to fall for online recruitment schemes and risk being victims of human trafficking.

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