The Malta Independent 18 April 2024, Thursday
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The Philippines immigration office says Malta still a 'hotspot' for human trafficking

Monday, 8 May 2023, 07:07 Last update: about 13 months ago

The Phillipines’ Bureau of Immigration said Sunday that Malta remains a top hotspot for human trafficking as the agency intercepted two victims who were on their way to the islands.

The Bureau said it intercepted two human trafficking victims bound for Malta on April 29, who posed as friends traveling as tourists bound for Bangkok, Thailand, Business World reports, quoting from a statement published by the bureau.  

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The two initially declared leaving for a four-day vacation and presented proof of local employment in local dental clinics in the country, Phil Star Global reports.

"Both women later admitted during secondary inspection that their final destination is Malta and that their documents were only handed to them by an unknown person that same morning outside the airport," said Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco.

According to the BI Chief, the passengers initially declared leaving for a four-day vacation and presented proof of local employment at dental clinics in the country.

The victims, however, were unaware that their employment visas to Malta were already cancelled even before leaving the country, the office said on its Facebook page.

They added that they were instructed by their recruiter to wait for the rest of their travel documents upon reaching Bangkok.

"Several investigations have shown exploitation of domestic and foreign victims in the Mediterranean, and this has long been a cause of concern," the BI chief continued.

"We call on the public to exercise caution in dealing with recruiters. Several investigations have shown exploitation of domestic and foreign victims in the Mediterranean, and this has long been a cause of concern," said Tansingco.

The victims were turned over to the country’s council against human trafficking for assistance in filing criminal charges against their recruiters. 

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