A 19-year-old Syrian national who attempted to enter the country using a fake Kiribati passport was nabbed by alert immigration officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
According to Bureau of Immigration (BI) port operations chief Grifton Medina, Al Naasan Ibrahim was apprehended at the NAIA terminal 1 last February 22 upon arrival aboard a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur. He is now detained at the BI Detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City pending his prosecution for violating the country’s immigration act
‘He initially presented a Kiribati passport which drew the suspicion of the immigration officer, who then referred the passenger for secondary inspection,’ Medina said in his report to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
It was during the interview that Ibrahim allegedly confessed his true nationality and turned in his Syrian passport that was hidden in his luggage.
It was further learned that Ibrahim planned to use the Kiribati passport in going to Sweden where he intended to study.
‘Thanks to the vigilance of our immigration officers we again thwarted another attempt by an illegal alien to use Manila as a jump-off point in gaining illegal entry to another country,’ Medina said.
Meanwhile, BI-NAIA 1 travel control and enforcement chief Glenn Ford Comia said Ibrahim had confessed having bought for US$5,000 the fraudulent Kiribati passport from a syndicate in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Comia said the passport was allegedly sold to Ibrahim by a Jordanian named Mohammed whom he met via the Internet and that aside from the passport, Ibrahim also presented a Kiribati national identity card and certificate of nationality which the syndicate also gave him.