Human traffickers trying to use Manila anew as jump-off point


    IMMIGRATION Commissioner Jaime Morente yesterday ordered personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to strictly monitor foreigners arriving as transit passengers in the wake of reports that human trafficking syndicates are again attempting to use Manila as a jump-off point to smuggle their victims to Canada and countries.

    Morente issued the order to BI Port Operations Division acting chief Grifton Medina after three foreign transit passengers with bogus travel papers were intercepted at the NAIA last month before they could board their connecting flights.

    “We should not allow these syndicates to negate the gains we made by letting them use our airports as venues for facilitating the entry of illegal aliens to other countries,” Morente said.

    He also ordered the bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit to thoroughly screen transiting passengers before allowing them to board their connecting flights to make sure that they are legitimate travelers.

    Last September 1, two Pakistanis identified as Murtaza Ghula and Sultan Muhammad Tayyab, bound for Vancouver, Canada, were stopped at the NAIA Terminal 2 for possession of fake Canadian visas and electronic travel authorization papers.

    The Pakistanis, Morente said, admitted during questioning that they acquired their fraudulent papers from a syndicate in Malaysia for which they paid US$200 each.

    Last Thursday, a Vietnamese was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 3 after he was caught using a fake Malaysian passport. Morente said Yang Gong An was transiting from Manila to New Zealand when caught by immigration personnel.

    He said Yang admitted his true nationality after immigration officers were alerted by airline staff that his Malaysian name was not in the manifest of his connecting flight to New Zealand.

    All three were sent back to their port of origin and later placed in the BI blacklist of undesirable foreigners.