3 suspected human trafficking victims intercepted at Mactan-Cebu airport
MANILA, Philippines — Three Africans, who are suspected victims of human trafficking, were rescued at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Friday.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said a mother with two minors from Senegal leaving for South Korea were intercepted at MCIA last March 30 for carrying “questionable travel papers.”
“It appears that these Africans were victimized by a trafficking syndicate that uses the Philippines as a transit point for smuggling illegal aliens to other countries,” Tansingco said in a statement.
Based on BI’s report, the victims were about to board a Korean Airlines flight when immigration officers noticed their passports did not have arrival stamps.
“When asked why their passports do not have arrival stamps and how they arrived in the country, they claimed that they arrived in the country on board a boat,” the BI explained.
The agency said that the suspected human trafficking victims were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Cebu before allowing them to return to their originating port.
“This incident proves that human trafficking is not just a Philippine problem. It is a global problem that should be combatted through the combined efforts of all governments throughout the world,” Tansingco stressed.
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