(UPDATE) Immigration officials barred a Chinese man from leaving the Philippines after he was caught using an alleged fake Philippine passport.
ABS-CBN News learned that the foreigner was leaving the country to fly to the Maldives on a private chartered jet.
According to airport sources, six vehicles entered the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and headed to the remote parking Bay 21 at Terminal 1, where the Philippine-registered jet was parked for departure proceedings.
Several persons in the convoy of vehicles then boarded the private jet.
As part of protocol, Bureau of Immigration officer Lourdes Mercado checked all travel documents and separately interviewed the passengers.
Mercado noticed the “rough” appearance of the passport of one Quezon City resident. The document shows it was issued on September 14, 2018 at DFA NCR East, with 10-year validity, and its passport number appears to be valid.
Mercado initially interviewed the passenger holding the passport in Tagalog, but the man supposedly failed to respond.
Some tension arose when the passenger locked himself in one of the six vehicles.
Airport police responded at the scene and the passenger agreed to go with them at the Terminal 1 immigration office.
The Immigration anti-fraud section checked the passport in question and officers said it was fake, the sources said.
The Immigration bureau also detected an alleged counterfeit biographical data page, according to the sources.
The passenger was turned over to the legal department for proper disposition.
As of posting time, the man did not reveal his true identity and how he obtained the alleged fake passport.
The incident is common in commercial flights but, according to sources, this is the first time the Bureau of Immigration confiscated a counterfeit passport used by a passenger of a private chartered flight bound to the Maldives.
- Report by Raoul Esperas