Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bureau of Immigration bares gang selling fake passports to foreigners


MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday it believes it has uncovered a big-time syndicate whose members make and sell fake Philippine passports to foreign nationals in the country following the recent arrest of one of its members by immigration agents.

BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the syndicate was discovered after one of its Chinese victims was recently arrested by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

David said the passenger, Wang Jiandong, was intercepted at the NAIA Terminal 3 last July 21 when he tried to leave for Hong Kong.

Wang, who used the name Tony Sia Ong, admitted that he is a Chinese citizen and that he obtained his Philippine passport from a countryman in Hong Kong. “It was Wang’s fellow Chinese who facilitated the processing of victim’s spurious travel documents for $6,000,” David said in a statement.

Wang said he already made a down payment of $4,000 and he was supposed to pay the balance of $2,000 in Hong Kong if he managed to leave the country using the passport.

“Wang’s confession that he is fake Filipino led to the arrest of a Chinese suspect named Ching Sum Yip in an entrapment operation by BI intelligence agents at (a hotel) in Pasay City,” David said.

He directed BI Intelligence chief Maria Antonette Bucasas-Mangrobang to determine the extent of the syndicate’s operations in the country.

Mangrobang said that based on initial investigation, the syndicate’s victims are mostly Chinese and its members operate in the Philippines, Hong Kong and China. She added that the victims are enticed to secure fake Philippine passports as this will enable them to enter and exit the country any time and evade payment of immigration fees while staying in the country. – Helen Flores, Rudy Santos

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