MANILA, Philippines –Three female Chinese stowaways have been discovered inside a Philippine Airlines (PAL) Boeing 747 plane heading for San Francisco in the United States, authorities said.
The discovery was made after PAL flight PR 104 was already in the air, according to an initial report from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2.
A head count made by PAL crew showed that they had 3 undocumented passengers on board.
Lina Andaman Felia, head of the BI’s Airport Operations Division, said US immigration authorities were informed of the situation.
US immigration officers arrested the 3 women when the plane landed in San Francisco, she revealed.
Investigation showed that the trio arrived in the Philippines from Hong Kong last March 13. They were accompanied by another Chinese woman.
BI investigators also discovered that the 3 used the same ticket sequence when they arrived in the country, fueling suspicion that a human trafficking syndicate is behind the scheme.
Felia said one suspect, Shao Ping, has been arrested. Ping, who regularly travels to the Philippines, uses the same travel agent as the 3 stowaways, according to the BI official.
Felia believes that some corrupt airline and airport employees could be involved in the human trafficking syndicate.