Six Filipino women who paid at least P3 million to illegal recruiters to work as domestic helpers abroad were intercepted by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after disguising themselves as tourists and using spurious documents.
Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina said the six female passengers were intercepted in separate incidents by members of the BI’s travel control and control enforcement unit at NAIA Terminal 1 as they attempted to board a Malaysian Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur en route to their final destination in Italy and Poland where they were hired to work as domestic helpers.
The trafficking victims admitted paying more than half a million pesos each to their recruiters in return for processing their travel documents.
The victims said their working visas abroad will be handed to them upon their arrival in Malaysia, after which they will be booked for their connecting flights to Rome and Warsaw.
The women also possessed fake overseas employment certificates.
“We have been warning our OFWs against being tricked into using fake OECs as these will surely be detected by our immigration officers who are adept at detecting these fraudulent documents,” Medina said.
“Our system is already connected to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration's database, so verification is real time," he added.
The victims said their documents were given by airport employees—“Miko” and “Jennylyn”—who they met through Facebook.
"This is a form of escorting being done by unscrupulous airport employees who think they can circumvent immigration formalities," Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said.