DFA warns Filipinos of Dubai-based syndicates trafficking Filipinos to Iraq

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday warned Filipinos seeking jobs abroad against human trafficking syndicates based in Dubai that have been illegally deploying workers to Iraq.

The DFA said the warning is being reissued after the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad rescued two more Filipinas from the southern province of Basra with the help of a local anti-human trafficking group.

The Embassy said trafficking syndicates have been luring victims by offering to advance the cost of their travel to Dubai where high-paying jobs are supposed to be waiting for them.

The victims enter Dubai using tourist visas and are then made to work without pay supposedly as part of their “training.”

However, once their visas are about to expire, the victims are told to accept jobs in Iraq or pay the syndicates the US$3,000 they supposedly spent for their deployment.

The victims are trafficked through Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and then smuggled to Baghdad or Basra. The Embassy reminds Filipinos that a deployment ban remains in effect over Iraq.

The DFA also warned Filipinos who enter Iraq without visas that they face imprisonment and hefty penalties if caught.

The Embassy advised Filipinos who want to work abroad to first check job offers with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

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