Six women who were being sent under fake travel papers to work as “nightclub entertainers” in South Korea have been rescued at Clark Airport.
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente today (November 15), Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Chief Grifton Medina said the passengers were intercepted before they could board a JinAir flight for Incheon, South Korea, on Thursday last week.
The women, who cannot be identified under anti-trafficking legislation, were later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for investigation and assistance.
Initial investigations suggested that the women had been recruited to work as nightclub entertainers and that they were holders of entertainer’s visas issued by the Korean embassy.
However, the overseas employment certificates they presented turned out to be dubious, with details included in the documents not matching their records in the BI database.
Mr Medina said the women later identified a fixer named “Mercy” as the person who had processed their travel papers. The women were allegedly able to obtain their fake certificates via the Internet by entering information that had been provided by the fixer.
The incident has prompted Commissioner Morente to issue a directive alerting BI personnel in all ports and airports nationwide to the techniques used by criminal syndicates to traffic women overseas.
He also said that the bureau would never allow Filipino women to be sent abroad using such methods as previous cases have clearly demonstrated that many of the victims are lured into prostitution.
“Our duty is to protect Filipinos who are vulnerable to being tricked by this scheme,” he said. “We are sharing this story to raise awareness, so that aspiring OFWs will not accept offers from illegal recruiters.”
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