177 Indonesians arrested for leaving to Saudi Arabia using Philippine passports
Philippine immigration authorities on Friday took into custody 177 Indonesian nationals who tried to leave the country to join a Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia using fraudulently obtained passports.
The Indonesians were caught at 12:30 am while inside Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City. The suspects were brought to the immigration department’s detention facility in Taguig City. They are facing charges for misrepresenting themselves as Filipinos and being undesirable aliens,
“All the Indonesians were found in possession of fraudulently obtained genuine Philippine passports,” said immigration bureau spokesperson Ma. Antoinette Mangrobang in a statement.
Five Filipinos who allegedly supplied the passports and who were supposed to escort the foreigners to a Philippine Airlines flight for Madinah, Saudi Arabia, were arrested.
The Indonesians allegedly paid $6,000 to $10,000 each to travel to the pilgrimage. The foreigners, who claim they can only speak English, told authorities they arrived in the Philippines individually as tourists during the last few weeks. Emmanuel Tupas