THREE Georgians were arrested by immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) recently for possession of fake Canadian visas in their passports.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said the Georgians were apprehended last November 11 upon their arrival at the NAIA Terminal 1, aboard an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi.
Medina said that their investigation revealed that the illegal aliens were planning to transit in Manila, prior to embarking on several connecting flights to Canada.
‘The Georgians initially presented themselves as humanitarian workers on a business vacation sponsored by an international non-government organization. Our officers found out that these aliens planned to stay in Manila for two days, then fly to Qatar and Azerbaijan, before sneaking into Canada,” said Medina.
He added that the incident was another foiled attempt of syndicates to use the Philippines as a jump-off point to illegally enter Canada.
It was gathered that although the Georgians had valid Philippine entry visas, they were subjected to secondary inspection after immigration officers noticed irregularities on the Canadian visas that were pasted on their passports.
Examiners from the BI’s forensic laboratory certified that the said Canadian visas are counterfeit, a finding which was later corroborated by Canadian Embassy officials who described the visas as “non-existent in their system”.
The Georgians were subsequently brought to the BI Detention Facility in Camp Bagong Diwa and their cases were forwarded to the BI’s Legal Division. They will be charged for violation of the Philippine Immigration Act, which penalizes a person who “obtains, accepts or uses any immigration document, knowing it to be false.”