THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the arrest of two Africans who recently attempted to enter and leave the country for Canada with fake Canadian visas.
BI TCEU Chief Erwin Ortañez identified the two Africans as Cameroonian national Etienne Makang Nformem, 35, and Sudanese national Abdelmotalab Idris Himat Mohamed, 29.
Ortañez said Nformem was intercepted Feb. 9 after he arrived aboard a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain. He alleged during interview that he would be visiting his cousin here and that after three days he would be flying to Toronto. Examination of the Canadian visa on his passport showed that it is counterfeit.
Mohamed, on the other hand, was apprehended Feb. 13 while he was about to depart for Toronto aboard a Philippine Airlines flight.
His Canadian visa, too, was found to be counterfeit after it was examined by personnel from the BI’s anti-fraud division, Ortañez said.
Nformem was reportedly working in the Philippines before, and allegedly sent his passport to Sudan to have his family process his fake Canadian visa.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina informed Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente that the Africans were arrested separately at the NAIA terminal 1 by members of the bureau’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU).
“We were able to frustrate their plan to gain entry into Canada illegally because their fraudulent scheme did not escape the watchful eyes of our immigration officers at the airport,” Medina said.
He disclosed that the two Africans are just the latest catch in the BI’s intensified campaign in preventing international syndicates from using Manila as a jump-off point in smuggling illegal aliens to Canada.
“We are warning these syndicates to stop their nefarious activities because our men at the airports are experts in detecting fraudulent visas and passports,” Medina said, adding that the two Africans are now detained at the bureau pending prosecution for violating the immigration act.