DFA warns Pinoys anew over latest human trafficking in Iraq

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

November 22, 2018, 7:02 pm

MANILA-- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday warned Filipino jobseekers anew against human trafficking syndicates based in Dubai that have been illegally deploying Filipinos to Iraq.

The advisory was issued after the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad rescued two more Filipinas from the southern province of Basra. DFA Assistant Elmer Cato said a local anti-human trafficking group helped with the rescue.

The trafficking syndicates have been luring victims by offering to advance the cost of their travel to Dubai, where high-paying jobs are supposed to be waiting for them.

The victims enter Dubai using tourist visas and are then made to work without pay, supposedly as part of their “training.”

Once their visas are about to expire, Cato said the victims are told to accept jobs in Iraq or pay the syndicates the USD3,000 they supposedly spent for their deployment.

The Filipino victims were trafficked through Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and then smuggled to Baghdad or Basra.

The Embassy, for its part, reminds Filipinos that a deployment ban remains in effect over Iraq.

It also warned Filipinos who enter Iraq without visas that they face imprisonment and hefty penalties if caught.

Filipinos who want to work abroad are advised to first check job offers with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). (PNA)