Lebanon-bound traffic victims intercepted

Photo by AL PADILLA | Daily Tribune

Three female passengers bound for Lebanon were intercepted by the Bureau of Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

According to the BI, the three passengers attempted to leave the country disguised as tourists, but they were stopped from boarding their flights after they confessed that they were recruited to work in Lebanon as domestic helpers.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the Bureau did not divulge the names of the three intercepted passengers, as the law prohibits the public disclosure of human trafficking victims.

According to the BI chief, while trafficking syndicates continue their nefarious activities, they will not relax in preventing their victims from leaving and saving them from being victimized.

Tansingco added that one of the intercepted passengers was a 26-year-old female who was referred for secondary inspection by the immigration officer, after being doubted for her purpose of travel.

When interviewed, she initially claimed traveling to Malaysia as a tourist, but the passport she presented showed that she had an Egyptian visa, and she also could not say if she was employed in the country. Later, the passenger admitted that her final destination was Lebanon, where she had been hired to work as a domestic helper with a monthly salary of $400.

Then, the other woman claimed that she was employed as a sales agent for an appliance company, but she presented a dubious certificate of employment and could not provide other proof of her financial capacity to travel. She then confessed that her final destination was also Lebanon, where she would work as a domestic helper.

The third passenger claimed that she was bound for Hong Kong for a vacation trip, but further inspection revealed that she was also bound for Lebanon and was offered to work there as a household service worker.

The three women were immediately turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance in filing cases against their recruiters.

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