Immigration agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently barred from leaving three female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Korea after they were caught carrying spurious documents.

BI-Airport Operations Division (AOD) chief Lina Pelia said the passengers were intercepted last July 6 at the departure area of the NAIA 3 terminal in Pasay City.

Pelia, in her report to Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the passengers were about to board a Cebu Pacific flight to Incheon, South Korea when they were offloaded by members of the NAIA-BI travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU).

She refused to identify the names of the passengers due to a provision in the anti-human trafficking act that forbids the public disclosure of trafficking victims.

Pelia said the women were offloaded from their flight after the overseas employment certificates (OECs) that they presented turned out to be spurious.

The said certificates are issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to a departing OFW as proof that the latter is duly-registered with the agency and hired by a licensed recruiter.

Investigation revealed that the series numbers indicated in the OECs, also called e-receipts, of the passengers are on the alert list of the POEA as they have been reported missing.

A check with the POEA counter at the NAIA also bared that the fake e-receipts of the passengers contained fake POEA stamps with a forged signature of the concerned POEA official.

The cases of the three passengers were referred to the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation.

The passengers alleged during questioning that they were recruited by a Korean, through its business affiliate in Manila, to work as entertainers at various nightclubs in South Korea.

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