Manila, Philippines – A blacklisted Chinese national was apprehended by immigration authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Sunday, just as he was preparing to leave for China.
According to Philippines News Agency, the individual identified as Zhou Xingxing, 31, was detained as he attempted to board a flight to Guangzhou, China. Zhou had been ordered to leave the Philippines in January 2023 by the BI due to overstaying and working for an online gaming company with an expired license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Following his arrest, Zhou was turned over to the BI's border control and intelligence unit for processing and subsequently handed over to the legal division for booking procedures. He is now set to be transferred to the BI warden's facility at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig, where he will undergo deportation proceedings.
In a related development, the BI reported that four Filipino nationals, victims of illegal recruitment, have been repatriated from Myanmar. The victims, whose identities are being protected, returned to Manila from Yangon via a Thai Airways flight on November 21. The victims revealed that they were unable to secure proper working visas and registration with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) during their stay in Laukkai, Myanmar. They had initially left the Philippines for Myanmar as tourists and were promised employment upon arrival. However, they ended up being coerced into participating in online scamming activities for an undisclosed Chinese company, facing physical abuse and poor working conditions.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco expressed concern over such incidents and emphasized the need for increased vigilance, particularly given the current situation in Myanmar. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has consequently elevated Myanmar to Crisis Alert Level 2, or the Restricted Phase, due to the prevalence of illegal recruitment cases. This designation means that only documented Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are permitted to travel to Myanmar, subject to strict protocols and safeguards. The repatriated individuals received assistance from officials of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, DFA, and OWWA upon their return.