African Woman Arrested for Fake Visa at NAIA Terminal 1

Commissioner Norman Tansingco. Photo from Bureau of Immigration
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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) recently reported the arrest of a 23-year-old African woman who tried to depart for Europe from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 with a counterfeit Schengen visa. The incident took place on Monday night when the woman, identified as Binetou Dieng, attempted to board an Eva Air flight to Taipei, with Milan, Italy as her final destination.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco expressed his suspicion that Dieng’s trip was facilitated by a syndicate engaged in trafficking Africans to Europe. It was discovered that she had arrived from the Middle East just two days prior, accompanied by an individual suspected to be a courier for the syndicate. Thanks to a tip-off, immigration supervisors intercepted Dieng during a secondary inspection, suspecting her possession of counterfeit travel documents.

Upon referral from Eva Air representatives, immigration supervisors subjected Dieng to further questioning. The airline personnel, trained in detecting fraud, had alerted immigration officers about the suspicious visa. They had received information from their counterparts in the Netherlands to be on the lookout for fake documents.

The BI’s anti-fraud section conducted a subsequent examination and confirmed that both the Schengen visa and identity card presented by Dieng were indeed counterfeit. As a result, Dieng is currently detained at the BI warden facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, pending deportation proceedings.

Commissioner Tansingco emphasized that Dieng would be expelled for using spurious immigration documents and placed on the BI blacklist to prevent her from re-entering the Philippines. This case serves as a reminder of the BI’s commitment to combatting illegal activities related to immigration and human trafficking.

The incident at NAIA highlights the importance of vigilance and cooperation between immigration authorities and airlines in detecting and preventing the use of counterfeit travel documents. The quick action taken by Eva Air personnel, who promptly reported the suspicious visa to immigration officers, demonstrates the effectiveness of such collaboration.

Furthermore, this incident sheds light on the global issue of human trafficking, with syndicates exploiting vulnerable individuals in pursuit of their criminal activities. It is crucial for countries to strengthen their efforts in dismantling these syndicates and protecting potential victims from falling into their traps.

The arrest of Binetou Dieng serves as a warning to those who attempt to deceive immigration authorities with counterfeit documents. The BI’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the immigration system and ensuring the safety and security of travelers is unwavering.

In conclusion, the arrest of the African woman at NAIA for attempting to travel with a fake Schengen visa highlights the ongoing battle against human trafficking and the importance of collaboration between immigration authorities and airlines. The incident serves as a reminder that the BI remains vigilant in detecting and preventing the use of counterfeit travel documents, ultimately safeguarding the integrity of the immigration system.

Source: The Manila Times

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