IMMIGRATION officers at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga intercepted two United Arab Emirates-bound Filipinas who were victimized by an online trafficker Thursday last week.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the two, when questioned by officers from the BI’s Travel and Control Enforcement Unit, claimed they are legitimate overseas Filipino workers with valid overseas employment certificates and employment contracts.
But the officers noticed discrepancies in their documents and had them reviewed at the POEA Labor Assistance Center 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 Philippines Overseas Labor Office in Dubai and were faked,” Morente said.
He added that upon further questioning, the two admitted they received their employment contract from an individual they met online.
“They were instructed by this fixer to delete all conversations from their phones pertaining to their travel. It was obviously a ploy to depart through illegal means,” Morente said.
The BI chief said similar schemes are suspected to be used by human traffickers seeking to illegally deploy Filipina workers aboard, such as Syria.
“This modus operandi is a reemerging one, wherein the fixer falsifies employment contracts in the UAE, attaches it to an approved overseas employment certificate and submits it for primary inspection. We are able to intercept such attempts when we see discrepancies in their records,” he explained, adding the fake contracts are presented to evade rigorous checking by making it appear that they are being deployed to the UAE when in fact they are being sent illegally to another country.