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BI STOPS TWO FILIPINO WOMEN, AFRICA-BOUND HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS FROM LEAVING

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) stopped from leaving the country two Africa-bound Filipino women suspected of being human trafficking victims.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the women were intercepted at NAIA’s Terminal 1 last March 7 as they were about to board their flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Tansingco said the passengers later confessed that they were merely transiting in Malaysia as their final destination is the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa.

They alleged they were illegally hired to work as household workers by a Filipina who works as a “mayordoma” for a rich couple in Congo.

Tansingco said the BI was duty-bound to prevent the women from leaving as the law prohibits Filipino migrant workers from going abroad without the required overseas employment permit from the government.

“These victims were enticed by promises of big salaries, however by going through these illegal means, they are of higher risk for abuse and exploitation,” the BI chief stressed.

He warned members of human trafficking syndicates that their trick of sending their victims abroad in the guise of being tourists will not work.

“Our officers at the airport are proficient in detecting this old scheme. So it is highly unlikely that they will pass our counters unnoticed,” he added. (JERRY S. TAN)

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