Fake job contracts are a bid to evade rigorous checking, officials say.
The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration said it had intercepted two UAE-bound Filipinas at Clark International Airport because they were suspected to be victims of a job scam.
The victims presented themselves as legitimate overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with valid overseas employment certificates (OEC) and employment contracts.
But officials noted discrepancies in the documents and referred them to the Bureau of Immigration’s Travel Control Enforcement Unit (TCEU) officers for an inspection.
“During the checks, it was confirmed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration officer on-duty that the contract the victims submitted were not verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) in Dubai, and were fake,” said Jaime Morente, Immigration Commissioner.
Later, the victims admitted that they had received their employment contract from an agent they had met online a day before their flight.
“They were instructed by this fixer to delete all conversations from their phones pertaining to their travel,” said Morente. “It was obviously a ploy to depart through illegal means,” he added.
Morente said similar schemes are suspected to be used by Filipina victims being illegally deployed to a third country, such as war-torn Syria.
“Illegal agencies falsify existing documents of legitimate OFWs,” said Morente.
“This modus operandi is a reemerging one, wherein the fixer falsifies employment contracts, attaches it to an approved OEC, and submits it for primary inspection. We’re able to intercept attempts when we see discrepancies in their records,” he added.
Morente stated that the fake contracts are presented to evade rigorous checking and, in a bid, to make it seem like they are being deployed to the UAE. However, they are illegally sent to another country, he added.