TWO Chinese transit passengers were barred from boarding their flight bound for the United Kingdom allegedly because of spurious travel documents, immigration authorities said on Monday.
Marc Red Mariñas, Immigration port operations division chief, said that Lin Chen Hui, 29; and Chen Huajuan, 27, arrived earlier in Manila 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.”
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, Mariñas said Lin and Chen 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 added.
On the other hand, Morente ordered a thorough investigation into the case, including the possible involvement of airport personnel in the foiled trafficking operation.
He also instructed the port operations division legal section to study the possibility of filing criminal charges against the aliens for violation of the trafficking in persons act.
Mariñas, meanwhile, said the Chinese nationals were still being held at the holding facility of the airport pending results of the investigation.
Mariñas also 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 at their destination.
Last November 25, Immigration officials intercepted a Somali national posing as Swedish citizen when he attempted to fly to United Kingdom.
The 23-year-old Somali national was about to board a connecting flight to London when travel control and enforcement unit personnel accosted him after he presented a Swedish passport.