Nine human trafficking victims were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last week ahead of their departure for Japan.
The nine were found to have student visas but admitted upon interview that their real purpose in Japan was to seek employment, according to the Bureau of Immigration.
The visas were reportedly processed by a vocational school in Dasmariñas, Cavite, whose owner, a Filipina holder of a Japan residence card, was traveling with the group, the BI said.
Upon investigation, it was also discovered that the nine met through the school’s owner and studied Japanese language in her school in preparation for their deployment to Japan.
One of them supposedly disclosed to BI agents that the owner had recruited entertainers under the same scheme.
The school’s owner and the nine girls, who were all from Cavite, were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for further investigation.
Immigration spokesperson Elaine Tan urged jobseekers to process their paperwork with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to prevent “becoming victims of human trafficking.”
“Filipinos who wish to work abroad have to make sure that they have the necessary working documents from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration,” she said. “Otherwise, instead of finding greener pastures abroad, they run the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking.”