MANILA, Philippines – A Malaysian couple suspected of being couriers for a human trafficking syndicate was nabbed by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said in a statement Sunday that the foreigners were arrested at the NAIA Terminal 3 last June 20, just as they were about to board a Cebu Pacific Air flight to Kona Kinabalu, Malaysia, together with three Filipinos.
All three victims pointed to the couple as their recruiters. The couple allegedly facilitated their travel by securing their single-entry tourist visa from the Malaysia Embassy in Manila.
The couple is suspected of being couriers for a human trafficking syndicate that is engaged in the illegal recruitment and deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Malaysia.
The two Malaysians were turned over to officials of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking at the NAIA for filing of appropriate criminal charges.
The three prospective OFWs said they were hired to work as mechanics and welders for the Jin San Transport Contractor Snd. Bhd., a construction company owned by the Malaysians.
Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson and acting intelligence chief, said that based on initial investigations, the Malaysian couple arrived in Manila last June 18. The next day, they accompanied the victims to the Malaysian embassy.
“They presented to the embassy the employment contracts of the victims so they were immediately given their visa,” Mangrobang said.
She added that the two Malaysians have been placed in the bureau’s blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the Philippines.