The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported on August 7, 2019, the arrest of two South Korean nationals for attempting to facilitate the departure of 13 undocumented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) they illegally recruited to work in Malaysia.
BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina recommended to Commissioner Jaime Morente to include the South Koreans, identified as Lee Jeong Seop and Pyun Jung Su, in the BI blacklist to prevent them from returning to the Philippines and recruit more victims.
Medina said the foreigners were reportedly identified by the victims as responsible for arranging and shouldering their expenses after they were intercepted at the Clark International Airport (CIA) in Angeles City, Pampanga on different occasions last month.
It was learned that Lee supposedly arranged the travel of eight of the victims who were stopped at the Clark airport last July 16 as they were about to board a flight of Jetstar Airways to Singapore en route to their final destination in Kuala Lumpur.
The passengers, who were disguised as tourists, admitted that they were hired to work as English instructors for Korean students in Malaysia.
On the other hand, the five other victims were intercepted last July 22 as they were being accompanied by Pyun in boarding a Cebu Pacific flight to Hong Kong.
The passengers said they were supposed to proceed to Korea where they were recruited by Pyun to work as nightclub entertainers.
Verification of their travel records revealed that three of the women were also previously stopped from leaving the country for failure to explain their purpose of travel.
“We are sending a stern warning to foreigners that they should not abuse their privilege and violate the conditions of their stay here by engaging in illegal activities such as recruitment and human trafficking,” Medina said in a statement.
The BI official added that the tactic employed by the aliens in facilitating their victims’ departure will not work as “it will not escape the attention of our immigration officers who are adept in detecting schemes to spirit human trafficking victims out of the country.”
The 13 individuals were later turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)