Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport barred from leaving the country four prospective overseas Filipino workers disguised as tourists after they presented bogus documents in an attempt to convince authorities that they were financially capable to go on a foreign holiday.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma said the suspected “tourist workers” were intercepted at the departure area of the NAIA 2 terminal last Oct. 6 as they were about to board a Philippine Airlines flight to Bangkok. Ledesma said the female passengers were offloaded after they were subjected to secondary inspection by immigration officers who doubted their purpose in traveling abroad.
The BI chief declined to divulge the names of the women, saying “they are victims of illegal recruitment whose identities need not be publicized.”
He added that the incident should serve as a warning to others who want to work abroad that they should not deal with illegal recruiters.
“The law requires that all Filipino migrant workers must secure proper documentation and clearances from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to ensure that they are protected while working abroad,” Ledesma stressed.
According to Atty. Arvin Santos, BI airport operations chief, the women when interviewed presented counterfeit credit cards and other questionable documents to prove that they are legitimate tourists.
The passengers also had US$300 each in pocket money and hotel bookings in their port of destination.
“They readily admitted that the credit cards are fake and they bought the same in Bacolod City for P200 each,” Santos said.
He added that the women claimed to be sales representatives of a company called Prince Motor Corp. but could not answer when asked to name the products they were supposedly selling.
A quick Google search yielded no result about this company but there is a similarly named company called Prince Motor Company which was a Japanese automobile manufacturer from 1952 until its merger with Nissan in 1966.