MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted nine Indian nationals who attempted to enter the country illegally using fake visas and travel documents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the foreigners, who were caught with fake visas and other spurious documents, were intercepted at the NAIA 3 terminal upon their arrival aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from Hongkong on Wednesday.
The Indians were identified as Chinchorkar Udayan Raju, Surjit Singh, Kari Ram Kiran, Tandel Gatiraj narsinhbhai, Jaspreet Singh, Gore Chetan Vinod, Toppo Clinson Christophar, Varinder Singh, and Amandeep Singh.
Morente said the Indians were immediately barred from entering the country and booked on the first available flight back to their point of origin.
“I have also ordered their inclusion in our blacklist because they are undesirable aliens who blatantly violated our laws by using spurious immigration documents in trying to enter our country,” the BI chief said.
He added that the incident will be further investigated to find out if there were any BI personnel or employees from other agencies at the NAIA who were behind the act.
For his part, Marc Red Mariñas, BI port operations division chief, said the Indians, who claimed to be seafarers from Mumbai, all presented counterfeit single entry visa-upon-arrival (SEVUA) visas instead of valid seaman’s visas that the law requires them to secure from a Philippine consulate abroad.
“Verification made with the concerned BI offices confirmed that their visas were not issued by the bureau. These were later found to have been fraudulently manufactured as it contained dubious letterheads and transaction reference numbers as well as bogus signatures and bar codes,” Mariñas said.
The Indians also alleged that they were legitimate seamen who were about to join a ship at the Batangas port but Mariñas said the claim also turned out to be false as the vessel they named had already left the port and was already in Singapore.
“Our seaport operations section also reported that it never received any advice or notice from a shipping agent here informing us about the impending arrival of these alleged foreign seafarers,” Mariñas added. (Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/Monica Guevarra