BI foils attempt to smuggle 2 Chinese nationals to UK

MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) again foiled an attempt by a human trafficking syndicate to illegally smuggle two Chinese nationals into the United Kingdom, using Manila as a jump-off point.

According to the report of BI port operations division (POD) chief, Marc Red Mariñas, to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Chinese nationals Lin Chen Hui, 29, and Chen Huajuan, 27, were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 on November 30, as they as they were about to board a Philippine Airlines flight to London.

“They earlier arrived as transit passengers from Dubai and were already at the boarding gate when the BI officers were alerted by airline personnel on their attempted departure,” he said in a statement.

It was learned that while the passengers presented Chinese passports in boarding their flight to Manila, they later took out their tampered Macau Special Administrative Region passports which they intended to use in gaining illegal entry to the UK.

“We have already alerted members of our border control and intelligence unit to be extra vigilant in monitoring arriving foreigners, especially transit passengers bound for other countries,” Mariñas said.

With this, Morente has ordered a thorough investigation on the case, including the possible involvement of airport personnel in the foiled human trafficking operation.

Likewise, the BI chief instructed the POD legal section to study the possibility of filing criminal charges against the aliens for violation of the trafficking in persons act.

On the other hand, NAIA 2 chief immigration supervisor Dennis Robles said the Chinese nationals were still being held at the holding facility of the airport pending the results of the investigation.

He revealed reported cases of Chinese nationals with spurious travel papers who were smuggled into the UK and other Western countries and who immediately sought asylum upon arriving in their destination.

Last week, the BI intercepted a Somali national who attempted to go to UK by pretending to be Swedish citizen.

Abdinajah Mohamoud Aden, 23, arrived as a transit passenger at the NAIA 2 last Nov. 25 aboard a Philippine Airlines flight from Dubai.

He was later booked on the first available flight to his port of origin.