Human traffickers’ new modus? Fake nannies accompanying minors overseas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 31 2019 06:49 PM

According to an immigration officer, workers without proper documents who want to look for jobs overseas sometimes pose as nannies to be able to cross international borders and “evade immigration scrutiny.” Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

Bureau of Immigration officers at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) revealed that one way human traffickers cross international borders is by posing as fake nannies to minors when they travel abroad.

According to BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina, this is meant to “evade immigration scrutiny.”

Medina said that on December 10, a 42-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl were stopped at Terminal 3 while attempting to leave for Macau.

Meanwhile, on December 17 at the same terminal, a 31-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy were prevented from flying to the United Arab Emirates.

“In both instances, the women pretended to be yayas or guardians of their minor companions. Indeed, these syndicates will stop at nothing in using every trick they can think of to skirt our ban on the departure of undocumented workers,” Medina said.

Maria Timotea Barizo, chief of the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit, said that upon interrogation, the women admitted they did not know their companions.

“They were merely asked to accompany them by the parents to be able to travel abroad,” Barizo said but did not elaborate.

Further investigation showed that the two minors traveled to Macau previously accompanied by two different women. The boy had also flown to Dubai with a female guardian. The teenagers returned to the Philippines without their companions.

“We believe that those alleged yayas ended up working abroad without proper documentation,” Barizo said.