By Ferdinand Patinio

(File photo)

MANILA – Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 recently intercepted three female passengers who attempted to leave for Lebanon in the guise of being tourists.

In a statement Thursday, Commissioner Noman Tansingco said the women were stopped from boarding their flights on March 10 and 12 after they confessed that they were recruited to work there as domestic helpers.

“These trafficking syndicates are continuing their nefarious activities but we will not relax our vigilance in preventing their victims from leaving and be saved from the evils of human trafficking,” he added.

The names of the passengers were not divulged as the law prohibits the public disclosure of human trafficking victims.

According to the BI travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU), one of them was a 26-year-old who was referred for secondary inspection by an immigration officer who doubted her purpose of travel.

When interviewed, she initially claimed that she was traveling to Malaysia as a tourist but the passport she presented showed that she has an Egyptian visa. She also could not say if she is employed here.

The passenger then admitted that her final destination is Lebanon where she was hired to work with a monthly pay of USD400.

The other woman claimed that she was employed as a sales agent for an appliance company but she presented a dubious certificate of employment and could not present other proof of her financial capacity to travel.

She then confessed that she too was bound for Lebanon and recruited to work as a domestic helper.

On March 12, another victim was intercepted after claiming that she is bound for Hong Kong for a vacation.

However, further inspection showed that she was also bound for Lebanon after being offered to work as a household service worker.

The three were later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance in filing cases against their recruiters. (PNA)