DOJ probes immigration 'escorts' for illegal Chinese visitors


Posted at Jul 15 2019 05:18 PM

MANILA -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said he has ordered an investigation into reports that some immigration personnel were offering "escort services" to illegal Chinese workers.

Some illegal Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) allegedly pay P10,000 so that their Chinese workers who only have tourist visas could breeze through immigration counters.

"I directed the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to conduct a fact-finding probe on these escort facilitation services for a fee in the airport and file charges against those who have committed illegal acts, if warranted," Guevarra said in a statement.

"There is an ongoing investigation by the NBI of human trafficking syndicates operating in our terminals, so I directed the NBI to expand that probe to include this escort servicing scheme," he added.

Previous reports of illegal "escort services" have prompted the Bureau of Immigration to install addition surveillance cameras and electronic gates, and reshuffle personnel, said agency spokesperson Dana Sandoval.

The BI's Board of Discipline also started an internal probe and erring personnel would face administrative charges, she told reporters.