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African booter falls victim to fake game invitation

Samate

MANILA, Philippines — A 19-year-old professional football player from Ethiopia fell victim to a fake invitation to play soccer in the country and is now being taken care of by security personnel stationed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1).

Airport police Maj. Jaime Estrella said his men saw Moussa Kissima Samate, a Senegal national, last Saturday roaming NAIA-1, begging for food from passenger welcomers and senders, when they invited the teenager to their headquarters to assist him with requirements and provide him food and shelter.

Samate arrived at 7 p.m. last Oct. 12 aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight ET628 with a letter of invitation from the Saudi Arabian government to participate in a football clinic at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila and Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill in Taguig from Oct. 1 to 30.

The event is supposedly sponsored by the Saudi Arabian embassy in Manila, according to the letter.

The invitation letter was purportedly signed by Fahad Ahmusabebh, head of the Office of the Employment Attaché of the Saudi embassy.

Upon arrival, Samate waited for someone to pick him up but no one came. The professional booter holds a return ticket on Nov. 10.

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Estrella said they called the Saudi embassy but were not able to talk to anyone as work was suspended due to the two-day transport strike.

He said that he called the attention of the Bureau of Immigration officers at the NAIA but was told to bring Samate to BI’s main office.

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