MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the recent series of intercepted human trafficking attempts to identify and prosecute the syndicate behind it.
Aguirre issued the order after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) intercepted five foreign nationals allegedly involved in human smuggling attempts, either as victims themselves or as perpetrators, from Nov. 25 to December 4.
“I will direct the National Bureau of Investigation, working hand in hand with the Bureau of Immigration, to further investigate the matter,” Aguirre said in a statement.
Intercepted by immigration personnel were Somalian national Mohamoud Aden Abdinah, Chinese nationals Chen Hul Lin and Hua Juan Chen, and Iranian national Shehni Dashtegoli Reza.
All of them were bound for the United Kingdom during the ASEAN Summit.
Aguirre said the human traffickers timed their activity when the airports were busy with the influx of international guests.
“Apparently, the efforts to smuggle these individuals manifest organized criminal efforts to use fake travel documents and should be looked into further,” Aguirre said.
“Human smuggling and human trafficking are truly despicable acts that deserve the highest condemnation. Such a dehumanizing practice merits condemnation and punishment,” he added.
Aguirre lauded the efforts of immigration officers for being alert to the attempts by the human smuggling syndicate to use the NAIA as a base for their operations.
“These interceptions were made possible by the laudable dedication and the presence of mind of our immigration officers. We commend the Bureau of Immigration, headed by Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, for foiling these human smuggling attempts at our airports,” the justice chief said.