At least nine overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were victims of a human trafficking syndicate were repatriated after being rescued from their employers in Thailand and Myanmar.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco said one group—four men and two women—arrived on board a Philippine Airlines flight from Bangkok, Thailand.
“The new face of victims now are really professionals with good jobs here in the country but seek adventure abroad. Some of them are even traveling with their partners or claiming they will be visiting family, and have previous travels,” Tansingco said.
The other group of three OFWs arrived from Myanmar on board a Philippine airlines flight. The victims were composed of two males and one female, all in their 20s. Two of them left as registered OFWs, while one left as a tourist.
All nine victims left the country late last year or earlier this year, the BI said.
The BI chief said that apart from recruiting professionals in the country, the syndicates were also targeting Filipinos in the Middle East with expiring job contracts.
“These latest batch of victims show that traffickers are using the same modus to recruit young professionals to seemingly-good call center jobs abroad. Only to find out that it is a scam,” he added.
The victims were assisted by elements of the Inter-Agency Task Force Against Trafficking upon arrival.