2 Filipinas barred from traveling to Dubai, Kuwait over fake OEC

Estimated read time 3 min read

At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Two Filipino women have been barred from traveling to Dubai and Kuwait after they presented fake Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to immigration officers at Philippine airports.

The separate incidents happened on May 24 and 26 respectively, said Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, who also warned Filipinos against engaging with fake agents on social media to secure an OEC.

An OEC is a requirement for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). It is obtained after having their employment contract verified. Without the OEC, OFWs may be barred from returning to their job site after visiting the Philippines.

In the case of the Dubai-bound Filipina, immigration officers at Clark International Airport spotted that the OEC she presented was fake, Tansingco said.

The 49-year-old Filipina, identified only as Valerie, had presented the fake document so she could board her Emirates flight to Dubai on May 24.

Tansingco said that the Filipina told officers that she is a former overseas Filipino worker and was being redeployed to the UAE. During interrogation, she confessed that she bought the fake OEC through WhatsApp for P7,200 (Dh464), which she sent to the seller via money transfer.

The second incident happened at Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 3 on May 26 and involved a 25-year-old Filipina named Lovely.

Tansingco said that the Filipina attempted to board a Gulf Air flight to Kuwait and presented a printed copy of her OEC and employment contract to immigration officers.

The immigration officer who handled her documents spotted that her OEC was fake. During interrogation, she confessed that she bought the fake OEC from a Facebook account for P500 (Dh32).

Warning to OFWs against using fake documents

Meanwhile, BI Commissioner Tansingco warned Filipinos that counterfeits will be easily spotted. “We have a data-sharing agreement with the DMW (Department of Migrant Workers), allowing us to instantly check in the database if these certificates are legitimate,” Tansingco said. “Aspiring OFWs should not buy their permits online as this is a scam. Always ensure that you go through legal means when departing as workers,” he added.

The official also warned that selling fake documents to aid the illegal departure of workers can be considered as human trafficking. He said that violators will face legal consequences. ICA/Expat Media

ALSO READ: PH immigration officer reveals how BI spots fake travelers to Dubai

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