BI warns public on fake agents PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 10:48

Four individuals posing as Bureau of Immigration (BI) personnel were arrested in different provinces, including Zamboanga, recently.

With this, BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison warned the public of syndicates using the BI to extort money from vulnerable victims.

He noted that the modus of the group is to represent themselves as BI agents reportedly on a “specific mission” to investigate and arrest foreigners allegedly engaged in illegal activities like mining and cyber crimes.

The BI chief issued the warning after police operatives recently arrested a certain Romy Morales, a resident of Rizal Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila; Ramil Veloso, of San Pascual, Tarlac; and Edgar Ganzatao, of Caloocan City. The suspects operate and were collared by police in Cauayan City, Isabela.

Also arrested was Angelito Pangan, who disguised as BI agent to harass and extort money from an Indian national in San Roque, Zambonga City.

Investigation disclosed that Morales, Veloso and Ganzatao introduce themselves as “immigration confidential agents” and “PNP officers” then simultaneously conduct a house to house verification of immigration status of aliens particularly Korean and Indian nationals residing in the municipality of Santiago in Isabela province.

The suspects also look for aliens in public markets and befriended the victims by offering foods and subsequently asked immigration documents. If the victim fails to show any document, the suspects will demand cash ranging from P1, 000 to P5, 000.

The suspects were formally charged with robbery through usurpation of authority before the Cauyan Regional Trial Court.

On the other hand, Pangan represented himself as BI agent on a specific mission to investigate and arrest an unnamed Korean and Indian nationals reportedly involved in illegal mining in Dipolog City. The suspect was with a team of five agents claiming to be members of “Task Force Immigration” based in Manila.

Meanwhile, Mison urged foreigners in provinces who are renewing their annual registration to personally report in BI satellite offices and refrain from entertaining impostors claiming to be “immigration law experts” and “confidential agents”.

The new BI program requires thousands of foreign nationals for mandatory appearance in filing their certificates of registration to prevent being victimized by “fixers” while paying mandatory fees and penalties.

Mison added that the process is in anticipation of the full automation of immigration process, to enhance and hasten the services to foreign nationals, visiting or staying in the country.