By Leonel Abasola

PNA file photo

MANILA – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday said the Department of Justice is well-positioned to look into the alleged trafficking of Filipinos victimized to participate in cryptocurrency scams in Myanmar.

“This is of course very welcome as we really have to address the problem of trafficking on all fronts. As the lead convenor of the IACAT, the DOJ is well-positioned to look into this particular case of Pinoys being victimized into participating in scamming activities in Myanmar,” Hontiveros said in a press statement.

The lawmaker said it was not new for the NBI and the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality to work together and address issues on human trafficking.

“Dati na nating nakatrabaho ang NBI pagdating sa paglalantad ng mga taong sangkot sa “pastillas scam”. Kaya umaasa akong magiging mabunga rin ang pagtutulungan ng ahensya at ng Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality sa pagsugpo dito sa bagong modus ng human trafficking. “We have previously worked with the NBI when we exposed people in the “pastillas scam”. So I hope the cooperation of the agency and the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality will also be fruitful in suppressing this new modus of human trafficking),” she added.

“We cannot allow or afford the social and psychological consequences of lax border management, trafficking, and traumatic events endured by our OFWs,” Hontiveros said.

Earlier, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla ordered the NBI to investigate rogue airport employees, including officials of the Bureau of Immigration allegedly involved in the trafficking of Filipino workers who were duped into cryptocurrency investment scams.

The concern came after airport security and police intercepted three victims earlier in November.

The victims reportedly used fake airport access passes or pretending to be employees of various airport concessionaires, to enter the boarding gates.

Upon closer inspection by airport security, it was also found out that their passports and boarding passes contained counterfeit immigration stamps. (With a report from Leonel Abasola, PNA)