Friday, March 5, 2010

Immigration cops thwart human trafficking at NAIA

MANILA, Philippines—Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have foiled an attempt by an international human trafficking syndicate to smuggle illegal aliens to Canada, using Manila as a transit point.

Bureau of Immigration (BI)-Airport Operations Division director Ferdinand Sampol said the human trafficking operation was thwarted on Monday with the apprehension of the syndicate’s courier and two of its victims at the NAIA.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, said the interception of the victims and the arrest of their courier were the result of proper trainings and use of modern technology.

“This showed that our agency is capable of defeating any attempts by human trafficking syndicates to use the Philippines as their transit point in transporting illegal people,” Libanan said.

Sampol, in a report to Libanan, identified the suspected courier of the syndicate as Joana Lee May Lin, a Singaporean, and her companions as Jeremy Lim Chee Siong and Jimmy Ong Lai Heng, both Chinese nationals.

Sampol said the three passengers were intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 2 before they could board a Philippine Airlines flight bound for Vancouver, Canada on March 1.

BI associate commissioner Enrique Galang presented the three aliens in a news conference at the agency’s main office in Manila on Wednesday. He said Lim and Ong were initially apprehended for trying to leave the country using fraudulent Singaporean passports.

“They arrived in Manila using their original Chinese passports but upon arriving here the syndicates gave them the Singaporean passports,” Galang said.

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