MANILA — Immigration authorities arrested 105 foreign nationals who are illegally working at a business process outsourcing (BPO) company in Biñan, Laguna on Thursday.
In a statement Saturday, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente said the foreigners were caught by Intelligence Division (ID) operatives working at a BPO firm without the necessary visas.
“They failed to present any proof of identification, during verification formalities,” he added.
BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said the foreigners are composed of 97 Chinese, four Indonesians, three Malaysians, a Vietnamese, and a Laotian.
“There was even one minor—a 17-year-old female—who was obviously trafficked to work here illegally, which brings the number to a total of 106,” she said.
Sandoval added that information about the illegal aliens came from several complaints from the community.
Those apprehended were 21 females while 84 were males. They were undocumented or were only able to present tourist visas.
“They were arrested for violating the conditions of their stay. Foreigners are not allowed to work here without the proper visas or permits,” she added.
Sandoval said the foreigners will be detained in their holding facility in Bicutan, Taguig while ongoing deportation proceedings.
However, the ID recommended for the release of the minor under recognizance to her guardian, but may still be ordered to leave the country by BI’s legal team if found to have indeed engaged in illegal work.
Meanwhile, Morente expressed dismay upon learning of big companies employing illegal aliens.
“Cases like this show that some foreign nationals think that they could just get away with illegal activities in the country easily,” he said.
The BI Commissioner warned that illegal aliens shall be arrested and deported.
“This should serve as a warning to aliens with depraved motives. We are serious in our drive against illegal aliens. Foreigners who are undocumented should go out now and legalize their stay, lest face sanctions,” Morente said.
He also encouraged citizens to report illegal aliens in their community.
“Many of our arrests came from complaints, reports, and tips from concerned citizens,” Morente said.
“This is a big help for us in pinpointing the location of illegal aliens who may be hiding in the most remote places of the country. Report them to us so our Intelligence men may swiftly act on it and we may deport them immediately,” he added. Ferdinand Patinio / PNA – northboundasia.com