PAMPANGA

2 online illegal recruitment victims intercepted in Clark

BUREAU of Immigration (BI) officers at the Clark International Airport intercepted Thursday night, March 18, 2021, two women, alleged illegal recruitment victims bound for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In his report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI Travel Control Enforcement Unit (TCEU) Officers Kaypee Enebrad, Kristian Balanquit, Clarissa Bartolome, and Marianne Mallari detailed the interception of the two who attempted to board an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai.

According to the report, the two victims presented themselves as legitimate overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with valid overseas employment certificates (OEC) and employment contracts.

Primary inspection officers noted discrepancies in the documents and referred them to the TCEU for inspection.

The TCEU officers then presented the documents to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Labor Assistance Center officer on duty at the airport terminal to verify their authenticity.

“Through the checks, it was confirmed by the POEA officer on-duty that the contract the victims submitted were not verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Dubai and were faked,” Morente said.

The victims admitted upon interview that they received their employment contracts from an agent they met online a day before their flight.

“They were instructed by this fixer to delete all conversations from their phones pertaining to their travel,” said Morente. “It was obviously a ploy to depart through illegal means,” he added.

Morente shared that similar schemes are suspected to be used by Filipina victims being illegally deployed to a third country, such as war-torn Syria.

“Illegal agencies falsify existing documents of legitimate OFWs,” said Morente. “This modus operandi is a reemerging one, wherein the fixer falsifies employment contracts in the UAE, attaches it to an approved OEC, and submits it for primary inspection. We are able to intercept attempts when we see discrepancies in their records,” he added.

Morente said fake contracts are presented to evade rigorous checking, to make it seem like they are being deployed to UAE when in fact they are illegally sent to a different country.


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