Perphaps, they don’t realize it, but their failure to leave for abroad may have saved them from unforgettable tragedies or misadventure, at the very least.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga stopped two women, suspected of being trafficking victims, from leaving for abroad disguised as seafarers.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the two passengers were intercepted as they were about to board a Cebu Pacific flight to Bangkok, Thailand.
The women initially claimed they were sea-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) recruited to work in Thailand, and presented spurious travel documents to the immigration officers.
Eventually, they admitted that their actual destination was Laos where they were purportedly hired to work as call center agents.
The BI earlier reported an increase in the number of Filipinos leaving for Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, where they were recruited as call center agents, only to end up working for crime syndicates. s.
“The modus operandi here is for the victims to initially fly to Thailand where they would then board their connecting flight to Laos,” Tansingco noted.
The victims, when interviewed, narrated that they were recruited to work in Laos via an advertisement they saw on social media.
They said they each paid P40,000 to their handlers in exchange for processing their bogus travel documents.
Both were referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and filing of cases against their recruiters.