Immigration, airport officials say fake employee passes used in human trafficking

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2022 10:55 PM

Officials of the Manila International Airport Authority and the Bureau of Immigration said those involved in human trafficking are using counterfeit airport employee passes for their victims.

Immigration Deputy Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac said they discovered this method after intercepting some of the human trafficking victims who tried to get through the airport boarding area without passing through immigration officials.

He also explained that passengers and airport employees use different entrances, and employees do not need to pass through immigration officials as long as they have their passes.

Mabulac likewise said they are already investigating the issue.

"I assure you na ang Immigration ay talagang seryoso po na ma-implement ang ating campaign against trafficking in person," he said.

Brian Co, MIAA Senior Assistant General Manager, said they have also started a separate investigation, especially since it is their office that issues these employee passes.

Based on the evidence they got from those they have recently intercepted, Co said those involved in human trafficking would change the names and photos on the employee passes, and would instruct the victims to use the employee entrance.

"Nagbukas na tayo ng investigation at ng case build up in terms of our intelligance para po talagang mahanap natin ang root cause, at kung may sindikato po, ‘yun po talaga ang kailangan nating mahanap," he said.

"We also cannot discount the possibility, possibly mayroon din from inside the organization," Co added.

According to Co, since intercepting several human trafficking victims, they have implemented stricter measures to ensure that the employee entrance cannot be used by those involved in human trafficking.

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The Department of Migrant Workers earlier said it is also looking into a supposed human trafficking scheme wherein Chinese companies are allegedly recruiting Filipinos to work in Cambodia and Laos for cryptocurrency scams.

DMW Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople issued the statement after the Philippine government rescued at least 12 Filipinos from a syndicate operating in Myanmar.