MANILA – Immigration authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have rescued four human trafficking victims recruited to illegally work in Thailand, Laos, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to a Bureau of Immigration (BI) media release on Friday, the four passengers, whose names were withheld for their protection, were intercepted at NAIA Terminal 1 after they attempted to board a Tiger Air flight to Singapore on October 17.

Three of the victims had connecting flights to Bangkok, claiming they were going on a seven-day vacation.

"The intercepted Bangkok-bound passengers initially presented themselves on primary inspection as tourists, but later on admitted that they were recruited to work as customer service representatives to be deployed to Thailand and Laos. They were even promised to receive PHP50,000 once employed," Commissioner Norman Tansingco said.

On the other hand, the fourth victim said she was going on a five-day vacation to Singapore.

"The other passenger was a woman in her late 30s who disguised herself as a tourist. As it turned out, she was offered a job as a household service worker in Dubai and that she was instructed to stay in Singapore for five days while she waited for her UAE visa,” Tansingco said.

The victims were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance and further investigation.

The Immigration chief meanwhile lamented the evolving schemes of criminals preying on hapless victims as all four were allegedly recruited through Facebook ads.

"It is frustrating how these criminals have now evolved to using online ads to lure their victims," he said.

Tansingco assured the public that immigration officers continue to remain vigilant for any human trafficking attempt, especially amid the ongoing influx of international passengers who will be vacationing during the holidays.

He also lauded the immigration officers who foiled the trafficking attempt.

"Our officers should be commended for showing how it is to be effective public servants. They work day in and day out to assure that nobody is victimized by illegal recruiters," Tansingco said. (PNA)