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BI on alert for travelers from Cambodia, Vietnam

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
BI on alert for travelers from Cambodia, Vietnam
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco issued the directive amid the reported rise in kidnapping and extortion cases perpetrated by crime rings in the two countries.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were ordered yesterday to strictly monitor the entry of travelers from Cambodia and Vietnam.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco issued the directive amid the reported rise in kidnapping and extortion cases perpetrated by crime rings in the two countries.

Tansingco instructed frontline BI personnel at the airport to refer for secondary inspection foreign citizens with doubtful purpose of travel to the Philippines.

Meanwhile, an anti-crime and corruption watchdog lauded President Marcos’ decision to appoint Tansingco as immigration chief.

Arsenio Evangelista, president of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, said Tansingco could implement “much-needed reforms” in the BI, which has been hounded by scams involving its personnel.

More than 40 former officers of the BI were recently indicted for graft before the Sandiganbayan in connection with the “pastillas” scam.

The BI officers were accused of receiving bribes in exchange for the illegal entry of foreigners, mostly Chinese, in the country.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla earlier said the BI has been plagued by “extortionists and human traffickers.” – Rudy Santos, Jose Rodel Clapano

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