BI uncovers new human trafficking ploy

October 5, 2016 10:30 am 

By Ferdinand G. Patinio

MANILA, Oct. 4 (PNA) — Syndicates engaged in human trafficking have employed a new scheme to bring their unsuspected victims out of the country by posing as boxers.

The illegal ploy was uncovered after Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted a 30-year old man suspected of working as a courier for a syndicate engaged in trafficking undocumented Filipina workers to the Middle East

Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the suspect as Rexsan Naval Godala, who was intercepted at the NAIA 1 terminal last Oct. 2 before he and two of his victims were about to board a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok.

The alleged courier, who introduced himself as a professional boxing trainer, was supposed to escort the victims who pretended to be boxers and wore jersey shirts emblazoned with a logo of the Philippine flag.

"It turned out that he was not a boxing trainer and that the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) license and letter of authority purportedly signed by GAB chair Abraham Mitra which he presented are spurious,” Morente said.

The two victims, whose names were not divulged, reportedly confessed during interview that upon arriving in Bangkok they would take a connecting flight to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where they were hired to work as a maid and waitress, respectively.

They were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation and filing of proper charges.

It was not the first time that Godala, who later admitted he is a boxer but is not connected with GAB, was seen accompanying Filipinas posing as boxers in their trip abroad.

According to the BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) who intercepted the three passengers, Godala managed to escort out of the country two women similarly disguised and dressed as boxers.

But, verification made with the BI’s travel database revealed that the women never returned, contrary to Godala’s assertion that they would return after only two days.

The TCEU also reported that he accompanied three other women, also disguised as boxers, in going to Thailand, purportedly to take part in a boxing competition there last Aug. 28. (PNA)

RMA/FGP/EDS

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