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BI intercepts 8 illegal recruitment in Zamboanga

By: Jerry S. Tan

Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents intercepted eight Malaysia-bound workers posing as tourists at the Zamboanga International Seaport (ZIS).

The passengers, whose identities are being withheld for their protection, were attempting to board MV Antonia bound for Sandakan, Sabah, on November 13.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco disclosed that the victims initially presented themselves as individual tourists with varying reasons for travel, including purchasing welding machinery abroad and visiting family and friends.

However, upon secondary inspection, the passengers confessed to planning employment in a shipyard and an engineering firm in Kuala Lumpur.

Tansingco then emphasized that the case exposes the continued threat of human trafficking through seaports.

“The strengthened anti-trafficking measures, implemented not only in airports but also in seaports, show the government’s commitment to combat this illicit activity comprehensively,” he said.

Tansingco further urged aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers to consult with authorized agencies to verify the legitimacy of job offers.

“Aspiring workers abroad must obtain the necessary clearances and approvals from relevant government agencies,” he said. “This includes verification of your employment contract, validation of your job offer, and securing overseas employment certificates from the Department of Migrant Workers,” added Tansingco.

All eight passengers were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation.

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