13 Pinoys with fake boarding passes held at NAIA

Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have intercepted 13 Filipino passengers bound for Hongkong in possession of fake boarding passes believed to be acquired from a scammer.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said yesterday the passengers, consisting of seven men and six women, were intercepted last week at an airline counter at the NAIA 3 terminal.

Medina said the passengers were turned over to the BI after airline personnel found that the self-printed boarding passes they presented were not in the manifest and not issued tickets.

 “It seems that they are victims of scammers who prey on the public selling fake tickets at cheap prices to entice their victims,” Medina said.

He added it was only at the airport that the passengers found out they were scammed after the airline informed them that their boarding passes were not encoded in their system.

When interviewed by members of the BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the passengers pointed to one of their female companions who enticed them to buy the plane tickets.

The woman, however, denied knowing that the boarding passes were bogus as these were only given to her by a certain “Jennifer.” She alleged that she met Jennifer thrice and was instructed to distribute the tickets to her companions.

BI TCEU chief Timotea Barizo said during the verification, they found out that some of their hotel bookings were cancelled as well.

They were allegedly told to wear T-shirts bearing the name of a herbal product during their trip and told to take off the shirts once cleared by immigration authorities, said Barizo.

“It was done to make it seem like they were on an official company trip abroad,” she added. 

Barizo suspected that the victims might have been promised jobs abroad, hence the fake tickets and the misrepresentation.

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

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