At least 13 Filipinos were caught carrying fake boarding passes at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 last week, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said on Sunday.
Medina said that the 13 individuals, composed of seven men and six women, were barred from traveling to Hongkong while still at the airline counter of Cathay Pacific.
According to Medina, it was the Cathay Pacific personnel who found that the self-printed boarding passes that the 13 Filipinos presented were not in the manifest and were not issued tickets by the airline.
However, Medina said that it was just then that the Filipinos found out that the boarding pass they had were fake after being informed that their passes were not encoded in their system.
“It seems that they are victims of scammers who prey on the public by selling fake tickets at cheap prices to entice their victims,” Medina said in a statement.
During an interview with BI’s Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), the victims pointed to one of their female companions about the fake passes.
However, the woman also claimed that she did not know that the passes were fake and said that these were only handed to her by a certain “Jennifer.”
According to the woman, who was not named, she met Jennifer thrice and was instructed to distribute the tickets to her companions.
Also during verification, BI TCEU chief Timotea Bariza also found that some of their hotel bookings were cancelled. Apart from this, a special instruction was given on what to wear on their boarding day.
“They were also allegedly told to wear T-shirts bearing the name of a herbal product during their trip and were instructed to take off the shirts after they are cleared by Immigration,” said Barizo.
“It was done to make it seem like they were on an official company trip abroad. Why would they be instructed to misrepresent themselves if there was no ill intention?” she added.
All 13 passengers were turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for assistance and further investigation about their case.—Source: Faye Orellana / INQUIRER.net