MANILA – Four surrogates mothers who were being trafficked last Sunday were intercepted by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.
Red Marinas, Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations division chief, in his report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, disclosed that the 4 passengers were scheduled to depart on a commercial flight to Cambodia via Bangkok on New Year’s Day.
Marinas did not identify the 4 victims of a major human trafficking syndicate involved in the recruitment and smuggling of surrogate mothers.
He said the 4 women were allegedly being escorted by a certain Jeanett V. Reyes, a fellow passenger.
Based on initial investigation, the 4 women allegedly admitted that they were promised a total of $ 8,700 dollars if they are able to conceive and give birth.
All 4 admitted to immigration officers that they were bound for Bangkok after signing contracts with an unidentified foreigner in charge of recruitment. They said their documents were with the alleged courier, Reyes.
The 4 women said they would receive US$200 dollars after injection and once the baby’s heart beat is detected, they would get an additional payment of $500 dollars.
They added that they would get the balance $8,000 within the 9-month period of conception until the child is born and turned over to the paternal parents abroad.
All their travel expenses, including meal, accommodation and allowances, were to be provided by the human smuggling syndicate.
Immigration agents are now on alert after learning that another batch of surrogate mothers was scheduled to depart within the month of January.
Marinas added that BI chief Morente has instructed all immigration officers in all ports of exit to strictly monitor the syndicate's activities and thwart any attempt to smuggle victims.
The 4 surrogate mothers and the suspected human trafficking courier will be turned over to National Bureau of Investigation. Appropriate charges will be filed against Reyes and others involved in the syndicate.