Human trafficking courier caught at NAIA

Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - October 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Immigration officers arrested a suspected courier for a human trafficking syndicate as he tried to escort five Filipinos out of the country last Friday, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday.

In a report to Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operation division chief Grifton Medina said the suspect and his victims were intercepted as they were about to board a flight to Tokyo, Japan at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

Medina said the alleged courier and his companions were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for investigation and filing of appropriate charges.

Immigration officers noticed inconsistencies in the victims’ answers to questions and doubted the authenticity of the documents they presented, according to Medina.

Four of the victims claimed to be employees of the courier in his travel consultancy business while the fifth claimed to be a public transport operator but could not show proof of his business, he added.

Timotea Barizo, head of the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit, said three of the victims are first-time travelers while two others are former overseas workers who worked abroad illegally.

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