(Eagle News) — Five Filipinos victimized by human traffickers were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Bureau of Immigration said on Saturday, March 12.
According to the bureau, the victims were stopped at Terminal 2 following an attempt to depart via a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight bound for Thailand.
The victims reportedly fell in line separately, with three of them having been initially cleared for departure.
Bureau Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU) Chief Ma. Timotea Barizo said it was during the secondary check that red flags were detected.
“Two of the five victims were actually siblings,” said Barizo.
During further inspection, the bureau said the group was found to have concealed an itinerary, with a connecting flight bound for the United Arab Emirates, having Libya as their final destination.
“These schemes are getting increasingly more complex, even resorting to sending out blood relatives to show some semblance of legitimacy,” she added.
The victims later admitted they were recruited to work as factory workers in Libya by a certain Julie they met through Facebook messenger.
Bureau chief Jaime Morente reminded Filipinos not to “immediately trust people that you meet only online.”
“These scammers are only interested in earning at your expense. Protect yourselves by ensuring that you only secure work via legitimate entities, as authorized by the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration),” he added.