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Immigration officers/counters (Photo: Bureau of Immigration)

Another victim of mail-order bride scheme intercepted – BI

by Carl Santos

IMMIGRATION officers recently stopped another victim of the mail-order bride scheme from leaving the country. 

In a statement, the Bureau of Immigration said the 20-year-old female victim was being escorted by a 34-year-old Chinese man when the interception took place close to midnight on February 28 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

The woman initially said she was bound for Shenzhen, China, together with her alleged husband.

“The immigration officer said both the victim and the suspect acted very suspiciously when asked about their supposed marriage,” said BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco.

The two were referred to the immigration protection and border enforcement section (I-PROBES) officers, who stated that the female victim was unable to provide basic details about their marriage. 

She allegedly showed a PSA certificate of marriage stating that they were married in a restaurant in Pasig City.

The BI forensic documents laboratory confirmed that the marriage certificate was genuine. 

“However, our officers were alert enough to be suspicious of their statements, having seen several cases like it before,” said Tansingco.

The woman then admitted that no actual wedding happened, and the marriage certificate was processed by her Chinese escort through an agent for P45,000. 

“This is obviously another case of the mail-order bride scheme that has resurfaced recently,” said Tansingco.  

“In this scheme, victims are made to pretend to be the spouse of a foreign national, but they end up as pseudo wives doing domestic work in their destination,” he added.

The woman and her escort were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation and filing of appropriate cases.

Past incidents

In early February, the BI intercepted a woman who attempted to depart for Xiamen at NAIA Terminal 1 as a tourist with a Chinese man who claimed to be her husband.

The Chinese man, a worker in the Philippines, even showed an apostilled original certificate of marriage.

But the BI noted numerous inconsistencies in their statements, and it was found that the documents presented were genuine, despite having fake details. 

On January 18, a female victim was rescued at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) after being almost trafficked to Xiamen by a Chinese man who pretended to be the husband of a relative.

The woman later admitted that she was bound for China for an arranged marriage.



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