BI: Foreign kidnap syndicates under close scrutiny

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has fielded its frontline personnel to closely monitor, scrutinize and tightly screen foreigners from Cambodia and Vietnam where members of foreign kidnapping syndicates are suspected to come from.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco the intense monitoring is in response to reports from local law enforcement agencies of an uptick in kidnappings and extortion activities from syndicates hailing from these southeast Asian countries.

Tansingco directed immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to subject to secondary inspection foreign nationals who appear to have dubious travel purposes to the country.

“This is how immigration works. We look at arrival trends and look for patterns. Our partnership with other law enforcement agencies allows us to see whether there is a need to tighten measures on certain types of travelers,” he explained.

Tansingco recently made ocular inspections at the bureau’s frontline operations at the NAIA, in the wake of a Senate inquiry on reported kidnapping incidents, including those involving foreign workers in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).