TWO foreigners were detained by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for attempting to leave the country with fake passports.
According to BI port operations chief Grifton Medina, the Columbian and Chinese passengers were apprehended in separate incidents last week at the NAIA terminal 3 as they were about to board their outbound flights.
Arrested on January 14 was Chinese national Han Yujia, 36, who was caught with a counterfeit Guatemalan passport while about to leave via an Air Asia flight to Bangkok.
Last January 17, Colombian national Juan Arturo Carbajo, 48, was apprehended for presenting a fake Argentinean passport before he could board a Cebu Pacific flight to Macau.
“Both of them are now detained at our Bicutan Detention Center for violating our immigration law,” Medina said.
Glen Comia, NAIA travel control and enforcement unit head, reported that the passports presented by Han and Carbajo were found to be fraudulent after these were examined by the forensic document laboratory.
Comia said Han admitted during questioning that he is a Chinese citizen, and surrendered his Chinese passport that he hid in his luggage.
As for Carbajo, Comia said the Colombian allegedly bought his fake Argentinean passport for $300 from a passport fraud syndicate in Lima, Peru.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente expressed his concern over the seeming proliferation of spurious passports.
“Our officers have apprehended quite a number of fraudulent passports in the past few months, and I fear that an international syndicate is yet again operating and producing these documents,” said Morente. (Jun Ramirez)