MANILA, Philippines - A Malaysian couple has been arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) for allegedly recruiting three Filipino men to work illegally in Malaysia, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday.
In a statement, the BI said the Malaysian couple were nabbed at the airport on June 20 as they were about to board a flight to Kota Kinabalu together with their three victims, who pointed to the couple as the ones who recruited them and secured their single-entry tourist visa from the Malaysian embassy.
They were reportedly hired to work as mechanics and welders for the Jin San Transport Contractor Snd. Bhd., a construction company owned by the Malaysians.
The BI declined to divulge the names of the foreigners and the Filipinos as the law prohibits the public disclosure of human traffickers and their victims.
The Malaysian couple was later turned over to officials of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) at the NAIA for the filing of appropriate criminal charges.
BI spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said the Malaysians’ names were placed in the bureau’s blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the country.
Based on initial investigation, the couple arrived in Manila June 18 and the next day, they accompanied the victims to the Malaysian embassy.
“They presented to the embassy the employment contracts of the victims so they were immediately given their visa,” Mangrobang said.
She said the workers did not have permits from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
She added that the BI would only deport the couple after they have been charged and, if convicted, served their prison sentence. - By Evelyn Macairan