|2 Beirut-bound Pinays stopped at NAIA|
JULY 31, 2012
Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) barred from leaving the country two human trafficking victims bound for Lebanon who hid their working visas in their underwear.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the two female passengers were about to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Bangkok last July 20 when they were intercepted by members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU).
David said the women, who initially denied they were going to work abroad, admitted that their final destination is Lebanon where there exists a deployment ban on overseas Filipino workers.
They later presented their work visas and plane tickets to Beirut which they hid in their underwear.
They also identified their Lebanese employer as a certain Fadi Antoine Abou Khalil as the one who applied for their visas.
“If you hide your visas it proves that you are victims of human trafficking. And we will not allow you to leave,” David said, as he warned human trafficking syndicates to stop employing tricks in hiding their victims from authorities.
The names of the women were not divulged as the anti-human trafficking law prohibits the public disclosure of human traffickers and their victims.
According to lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI acting intelligence chief, the case is now being investigated by the Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking (IACAT).
Mangrobang said IACAT probers are now pursuing leads that could result in the arrest and prosecution of the illegal recruiters who victimized the women.
“We reiterate our warning to our countrymen who wish to work abroad to follow the law by securing the necessary overseas employment certificates from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration,” she added.###