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  • “These syndicates will stop at nothing in using every trick they can think of to skirt our ban on the departure of undocumented workers." Bureau of Immigration Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina Immigration authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have reported another modus operandi of human trafficking syndicates wherein female victims are made to pose as nannies of minor children so they could evade immigration scrutiny.

  • The Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported a Korean fugitive wanted by authorities in his country for operating an illegal gambling website.According to his report to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Bureau of Immigration Port Operations Chief Grifton Medina identified the fugitive as 35-year-old Jung Hyeongwook, who left the country last Sept. 3 aboard a Philippine Airlines flight to Pusan.

  • INTRAMUROS, Manila—The management of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) exhorted its officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other ports to keep up their vigilance after it was announced that the Philippines retained its Tier 1 ranking in the US government’s human trafficking index for 2019. “I commend and congratulate the men and women of our port operations division (POD) who guard our ports day and night to ensure that countrymen are saved from the scourge of human trafficking,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement. The Philippines retained for the fourth consecutive year its Tier 1 ranking in the recently-released 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report of the US Department of State. Morente said that the rating is “a tribute to your hard work and dedication to your duties as gatekeepers of our country.”

  • PASAY, Philippines—Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted 13 Filipino passengers bound for Hongkong who were caught in possession of fake boarding passes that they acquired from a scammer. According to Bureau of Immigration Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina, the passengers consisting of seven men and six women, were intercepted last Monday at the airline counter of Cathay Pacific at the NAIA 3 terminal. Medina said the passengers were immediately turned over to the Bureau of Immigration after Cathay Pacific personnel found that the self-printed boarding passes they presented were not in the manifest and were not issued tickets by the airline.

    “It is seems that they are victims of a scammers who prey on the public by selling fake tickets at cheap prices to entice their victims,” Medina said. He added it was only at the airport that the passengers knew they were scammed after the airline informed them that their boarding passes are not encoded in their system. When interviewed by members of the Bureau of Immigration’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the passengers pointed to one of their female companions as the one who enticed them to buy the plane tickets. The woman, however, claimed that she also did not know that the boarding passes were bogus as these were only given to her by a certain 'Jennifer'. She alleged that she met Jennifer thrice and she was only instructed to distribute the tickets to her companions. According to Bureau of Immigration TCEU Chief Timotea Barizo, during the verification, they found out that some of their hotel bookings were cancelled as well. “They were also allegedly told to wear T-shirts bearing the name of a herbal product during their trip and were instructed to take off the shirts after they are cleared by Immigration,” said Barizo. "It was done to make it seem like they were on an official company trip abroad. Why would they be instructed to misrepresent themselves if there was no ill intention?" she added. Barizo said she suspects that the victims may have been promised jobs abroad, hence the fake tickets and the misrepresentation. "There were too many inconsistencies in their statements and documents," she said. "We suspect they may have been victimized by illegal recruiters," she added. All 13 passengers were eventually turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.

  • MANILA, Philippines--The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has launched efforts to thwart the entry of foreign terrorists and fugitives into the Philippines during the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which kickstarted Saturday night at the Philipine Arena. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that the Bureau of Immigration has been implementing “Project Riptide” since last week as thousands of athletes and visitors to the games began arriving in the country for the event.

  • PASAY, Philippines—Two more suspected human trafficking victims were stopped from leaving by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for falsifying their birthdates. Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the two female passengers, who presented valid overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) documents, were intercepted last Wednesday at the NAIA terminal 1 by members of the Bureau’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU). According to reports, the duo attempted to depart via a Scoot Airways flight to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia allegedly to work as household service workers when they were flagged for secondary inspection by frontline immigration officers. Medina said the officers doubted the ages of the passengers as indicated in the passports due to inconsistencies in their answers and their demeanor.

  • Bureau of Immigration intercept two more Korean fugitives at NAIA The Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) two more Korean fugitives who are wanted for fraud in their country. Bureau of Immigration Port Operations Chief Grifton Medina said that the two Koreans were intercepted separately at NAIA Terminal 3 last Aug. 14 and 16 by operatives from the Bureau’s Border Control and Intelligence Unit (BCIU). POD Chief Medina said that the passengers were apprehended after their names appeared in the registered Bureau of Immigration Interpol database, which is linked with the bureau’s computer system, showing that they have derogatory records.

  • The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it will be deporting another American fugitive wanted by US federal authorities for drug possession and human trafficking. Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente identified the fugitive as 43-year-old Corey West Glenn, who was arrested last Sunday in Makati City by operatives from the Bureau of Immigration’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU). Commissioner Morente said that Corey West Glenn will be deported “for being an undesirable alien whose presence here poses a risk to public safety and security.”

  • The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it barred more than 38,000 travelers from leaving the country last year due to its unrelenting campaign against human trafficking in the different international ports. Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that the 38,522 persons whose departures were deferred last year is 16-percent more than the nearly 33,000 travelers who were stopped from leaving in 2018.

  • An Iranian fugitive wanted for an assault and battery case was intercepted by immigration officers upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last Thursday. Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Chief Grifton Medina said 31-year-old Zare Bahari Bahareh was immediately excluded hours after she arrived at the NAIA terminal 3 aboard a Cebu Pacific flight from Dubai. Medina said Zare Bahari, who was a respondent to an assault and battery case in Dagupan City was intercepted by Bureau of Immigration men upon seeing that her name had a hit on their derogatory database.

    According to BI NAIA Terminal 3 head Bradford Allen So, Zare Bahari was excluded as she was the subject of a red notice from Interpol. So likewise disclosed that during the implementation of Zare Bahari’s exclusion, another Iranian national identified as Minbashi Moeini Morteza approached immigration officials at the arrival area.

  • PASAY, Philippines—the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the arrest of more than 500 aliens in a raid of an illegal Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company in Pasay City. According to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, a total of 542 aliens were arrested yesterday evening at the Millenium Building through the joint intelligence operations of the Bureau of Immigration, the Philippine National Police National Capital Region Police Office (PNP NCRPO), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in coordination with the Chinese Embassy. The arrested aliens were mostly male and made up of 442 Chinese, 23 Vietnamese, 25 Malaysians, 3 Indonesians, 45 Burmese, and 4 Taiwanese. “They were arrested for working without permit and for being undocumented aliens,” said Morente. Fortunato Manahan, Jr., Chief of the Bureau of Immigration Intelligence Division revealed details of the operations. “The foreigners were involved in some sort of telecommunications fraud, similar to budol-budol,” he shared. “But their victims are mostly from mainland China,” he added. Meanwhile, Morente clarified the role of the Bureau of Immigration in arresting aliens. “If the alien committed a criminal act, it is under the jurisdiction of the local authorities,” said Morente. “But if we see that there is an immigration violation, we may charge for deportation separately,” he added. The clarification was given by Morente following questions on the role of Bureau of Immigration in arresting foreign nationals. He likewise discussed the procedure of deportation. “It is within our policy not to implement deportation unless local cases are cleared already. If the alien needs to serve time in our local jails then so be it, this is to ensure the full effect of justice,” he shared. Morente then reiterated his warning to erring foreign nationals. “We welcome foreigners to visit the Philippines—work here, live here, study here, retire here, we welcome aliens as long as they comply with our laws,” he said. “Follow our laws or face deportation,” he warned. The aliens are currently detained with the NCRPO in Bicutan, Taguig.

  • INTRAMUROS, Manila--The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned Filipinos wanting to work abroad against unscrupulous persons using the Internet and social media to recruit overseas workers. Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the warning after learning that many human trafficking and illegal recruitment victims intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were recruited by syndicates offering their services via Facebook and social networking sites.

  • This was according to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente that they tightens their watch to airport operations by implementing internal movement and coordinating with other agencies. The full story is below.

  • MANILA,Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has imposed a “no leave, no absence” policy in a bid to address the expected increase of passengers in all terminals during the holiday season and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the country. 

    “Our men have been instructed not to go on leave during the peak season to maximize our manpower,” said Grifton Medina, chief of the BI port operations division.

    In a statement, he said the BI is expecting the number of passengers in all terminals to increase by at least three percent due to the holiday rush, with an additional increase of around 8,000 delegates coming for the SEA Games. ?

    Data from the BI showed that more than 1.5 million passengers arrived in the Philippines in December 2018 alone, while more than 1.2 million people left the country during the same period. ?

    To avoid getting stuck in the build up of passengers in all terminals, Medina urged travelers to “arrive early, at least three hours” before their scheduled flights to avoid getting inconvenienced.

    “Sudden buildups sometimes happen, especially when there are delayed flights that arrive simultaneously. We appeal to everyone to bear with us should there be some build up, which sometimes happen during peak season,” he added.

    But given this, he assured the public that processing in the terminals is now faster than in previous years because of the numerous improvements introduced this year, including the hiring of more than 600 immigration officers. 

    Medina said the installation of e-gates would also speed up the processing by almost six times or by at least eight seconds from the regular 45-second processing period.

    The MWM Terminals Inc., a subsidiary of engineering and infrastructure company Megawide, said it is also ready to accommodate the expected influx of passengers at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) with the upcoming start of the SEA Games.

    The venues for the biennial regional multi-sport event include the Mall of Asia Arena and Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. Other venues are in Tagaytay City, Cavite province, and Calatagan in Batangas.

    “We expect a significant increase in passenger traffic nearing the days of the events in these areas. We’ve already made the necessary improvements to still ensure passenger convenience,” said PITX general manager Mariano Arroyo Jr.

    “Most importantly, PITX will ensure that there will be enough rides to accommodate the higher influx of passengers come SEA Games 2019,” he said.

    The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) also launched yesterday a 24-hour hotline for the SEA Games. Those who have queries on SEA Games-related issues may text 0915-983-4636 or 0998-325-5626.

    Policemen manning the NCRPO Operations Division will monitor the dedicated numbers.

    NCRPO chief Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said in a statement that the police would have prompt responses to the queries, reports and complaints raised to the hotline.

    The quadrennial sporting event will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 with about 11,000 athletes and coaches participating in the events.

    Read more: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/11/24/1971346/bureau-immigration-implements-no-leave-no-absence-policy

  • MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the arrest of a South Korean fugitive wanted in his country for telecom fraud who was intercepted last week at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Bureau of Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina identified the passenger as 31-year-old Jang Minki who was stopped at the NAIA 3 departure area last Feb. 13 as he attempted to board a flight to Osaka, Japan.

  • INTRAMUROS, Manila--the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has placed its men on heightened alert as it braces itself for the upcoming South East Asian Games (SEA Games) and the holiday rush. According to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, he issued the directive following the expected surge of Filipino and foreign travelers in the next few weeks. "We are expecting up to 3% increase in arrivals and departures this holiday season. We are certain that there will be more tourists and balikbayans who will be flying in this Christmas," said Morente.

  • MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted recently at Ninoy Aquino International Airport seven workers who tried to leave the country as tourists. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said they off-loaded five persons from their flight to Malaysia after it was found out they had spurious travel documents and were really headed to Australia for work.

    They had fake employee IDs to make it appear that they have jobs here and are indeed legitimate tourists. He added that Bureau of Immigration personnel became suspicious after finding that the group was accompanied by a woman with pending cases of estafa and illegal recruitment. Morente said the workers admitted paying between P125,000 and P175,000 to their recruiters to process their job applications and travel papers.

    Read more

  • Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have foiled another human trafficking attempt after stopping four victims illegally recruited to work abroad. Bureau of Immigration port operations chief Grifton Medina said the victims, all women, were supposed to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia when they were intercepted at the departure area of the NAIA 3 terminal.

    “Once they reach Malaysia, they planned to proceed to Dubai where they were recruited to work as household workers and drivers,” Medina said. He said the women were barred from leaving after the primary immigration officers who processed them doubted the purpose of their travel and referred them for secondary inspection.

    It was later found that the women, who were in their mid 30s to early 40s, presented company employment IDs under a major construction firm that turned out to be fraudulent. “We contacted the company where they were purportedly employed and we were told that these women are not their employees,” said Ma. Bernadette Catipay, Bureau of Immigration -NAIA 3 travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) head.

    Catipay said that upon verification, it was discovered that the passengers were all issued working visas in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) They then admitted that said UAE visas as well as the plane tickets of their connecting flight to Dubai were to be given to them upon their arrival in Malaysia.

  • The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned Filipinos wanting to work abroad against unscrupulous persons using the Internet and social media to recruit overseas workers. BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the warning after learning that many human trafficking and illegal recruitment victims intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were recruited by syndicates offering their services via Facebook and social networking sites. “We reiterate our warning to our kababayan that they should avoid transacting with strangers online offering high-paying jobs in foreign lands without the benefit of protection from government. You will only be putting yourselves in harm’s way,” the BI chief said in a statement.

  • MANILA – A German convicted of pedophilia in his homeland was recently arrested in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, the Bureau of Immigration said Tuesday. Alfons Hermann Keittl, 71, was convicted of pedophilia by a court in Landshut, Germany last July. The Bureau of Immigration said Keittl arrived in the Philippines as a tourist on May 8.“We will deport him immediately as his presence here poses a serious threat to the lives and safety of our Filipino children,” Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said. Morente added the Bureau of Immigration will also blacklist Keittl. The German embassy in Manila said Keittl was convicted of committing aggravated child abuse against 3 different victims and, in more than 200 other cases, was found to have possessed hundreds of child pornographic images and videos.

    He also allegedly violated the conditions of his probation by disobeying a court order for him not to come within 100 meters of schools, swimming pools and other facilities frequented by children, the Bureau of Immigration said. The Philippines has become one of the countries of focus when it comes to cases of child abuse and pedophilia.Online sexual exploitation remains prevalent in the Philippines, with victims, mostly minors, being lured into the trade by their own relatives, case files from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) showed. Filipino victims have fallen prey to sexual predators from around the world, with the cybersex trade becoming a livelihood for poor families as fees range from $20 to $50 (about P1,000 to P2,600) per session or per week. Some 80 percent of victims are minors, and half of this chunk are 12 years or younger, data from the International Justice Mission- Philippines showed. 

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