14th November 2007, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
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| | Dummy air tickets and their S'pore dream
Dummy air tickets and their S'pore dream http://www.todayonline.com/articles/222014.asp
| Dummy air tickets and their S'pore dream |
THE Philippines embassy in Singapore has warned Filipinos about a "disturbing link" between human trafficking rings and the rampant use of "dummy air tickets" to smuggle them into the Republic.
In the last two months, 15 Filipinos have been jailed from three to 10 months here, after they produced fake return airline tickets to immigration authorities. The embassy noted that most of the women arrested were "irregular hospitality workers who came to Singapore to work in pubs without any work permit".
Most were caught while trying to re-enter Singapore at the Malaysian border after their Singapore visas had expired.
The human traffickers and illegal recruiters would dangle the lure of "free" roundtrip tickets at "minimal fees". But these tickets would turn out to be valid only one way. Once here, the victims would have to pay traffickers between $1,200 and $6,000 to get their ticket home. To work off this debt, some are made to work at sleazy bars.
Philippine ambassador to Singapore Belen Fule-Anota, who has reported the syndicates to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, warned Filipinos of using fraudulent tickets; they should buy open-dated return tickets if they are unsure when they would fly home. She also asked Filipino community leaders to help caution fellow countrymen travelling to Singapore.
At least 1 million Filipinos leave the country every year to find better-paying jobs abroad. Meanwhile, earlier this year, the growing trafficking of Asian women to Singapore prompted the United States to downgrade the Republic's Trafficking in Persons rating by one tier. — Leong Wee Keat
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