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DFA Cautions OFWs Against Online Human Trafficking Scheme

In light of the recent story of a Filipina who was promised work in Dubai but was later on sent to Iraq by a foreign syndicate group and abused by her employer there, aspiring OFWs are being reminded once again to double-check the job orders they take on before processing the requirements for their work application overseas.

ALSO READ: POEA to Stop Accepting Walk-in Applicants

Most of the time, when something is too good to be true, whether it is a job offer or an investment proposal, then chances are it might not be true at all. This should also be the mind-set of aspiring job applicants looking for work overseas, especially nowadays that information can be easily spread online and across various online platforms.

DFA Warns OFWs Against Online Human Trafficking Ploy

In an advisory posted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on its social media page, officials posted a warning against individuals and manpower agencies which offer jobs in Dubai through various online platforms such as Facebook, Viber, and Whatsapp following a series of cases of human trafficking.

On Saturday (April 6), the DFA issued a statement that 17 cases of human trafficking have already been handled by the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq in 2018 alone.

According to the report, one of the victims of human trafficking in Iraq has been detained at Basra Prison for the last three months and has only been released last Wednesday (April 3) for deportation.

Furthermore, the DFA pointed out that the victims were trafficked from Dubai to Iraq between July 4 and December 22 last year.

As per the embassy, the human trafficking scheme begins when the syndicates would reach out to their victims through social media and offer them lucrative jobs in Dubai.

Once the victims are lured in, the syndicates would then ask them to settle the travel cost to Dubai in advance.

Upon arrival in Dubai on a tourist visa, the victims would then begin to work without pay as part of their “training,” but when their tourist visas are about to expire, they would be offered jobs in Iraq instead.

If the victims refuse to take on the offer, they would be required to pay USD 3,000 to the syndicates for their supposed deployment fees.

After which, the victims are then trafficked through Erbil in the Kurdistan region then smuggled into Baghdad or Basra in Iraq.

Part of the trafficking procedures would be to transfer the victims to different vehicles throughout the trip so as not to catch any attention from officials as they are being transferred from one place to another.

If not caught on its tracks, the victims could have suffered maltreatment and molestation throughout the said trip, and could experience something worse in the event that they get employed.

ALSO READ: POEA Considers ‘Freeze Licensing’ of New OFW Agencies

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