BI warns against sex trafficking

PHILSTAR

IMMIGRATION Commissioner Norman G. Tansingco issued a warning on Sunday against the so-called bitbit or “tag-along” scheme employed by human traffickers to dupe Filipino women into becoming sex workers abroad.

In a statement, he revealed how Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents intercepted a suspected human trafficker who was about to board his flight to Malaysia with a potential Filipina victim at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

The BI said the Malaysian man, who is now detained, claimed that his Filipina companion is his live-in partner and that they are spending a vacation in Kota Kinabalu.

However, BI records showed that this man was allegedly responsible for bringing another Filipina to Malaysia very recently who has since not returned.

“This seems like another case of the bitbit scheme,” said Mr. Tansingco, citing how in 2023, a Filipina was also brought by a frequent traveler to Malaysia where she was held captive by a white slavery ring. The Filipina who was with the man last March 22 has been turned over to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance, while the suspected human trafficker is being investigated and may face charges of violating the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana