Immigration warns aspiring OFWs of new illegal recruitment scheme

Immigration warns aspiring OFWs of new illegal recruitment scheme
In this photo from the Bureau of Immigration Facebook page, an Immigration officer inspects a traveler's passport.
Bureau of Immigration FB Page

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration warned aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) against a new scheme by illegal recruiters that provide them with fake documents.

This was after immigration officers intercepted the flight of two passengers disguised as tourists who attempted to board an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai on October 7 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Travel Control and Enforcement Units reported to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente that both passengers were first-time travelers who presented fake company identification and certificates of employment from an apparel company.

“They initially told our secondary inspectors that they were being sent by the apparel company to attend training as sales representatives in the UAE. However, our officers found inconsistencies in their statements,” Morente said.

The two passengers also admitted that they were never hired by the apparel company locally and later showed their employment contracts as household service workers for a manager working in the apparel company.

They also admitted that their recruiter only gave them travel documents before their flight.

Morente said: “The main reason why we require all departing OFWs to be checked first by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is so we are sure that nobody will suffer the consequences of human trafficking.”

He continued: “Be keen in transacting with these recruiters and always double-check their licenses and accreditations.”

The two victims were then turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance and further investigation.

The Philippine National Police in September activated its Task Force against Illegal Recruitment as it intensifies its crackdown on human trafficking amid the pandemic, — Kristine Joy Patag

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