The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday, August 24, warned Filipinos of illegal recruiters on social media offering fraudulent jobs in Dubai, UAE.
In a statement, DFA explained that illegal recruiters on social media, particularly Facebook, offer jobs to Dubai only to transfer their victims to Iraq or Syria.
“Job seekers should be wary of attractive employment opportunities in Dubai being offered through Facebook by illegal recruiters as they could end up in Iraq or Syria instead,” DFA said.
The warning was released after Philippine Embassy in Iraq Chargé d’Affaires Julius Torres reported the increase of Filipinos trafficked into Iraq through Dubai.
Torres said that in August alone, a total of nine Filipino nationals have been rescued, all of whom were trafficked from Dubai.
Aside from falling victims to illegal recruitment, the rescued Filipino nationals were also sexually harassed.
“When the tourist visas of the victims are about to expire, the recruiters tell them to either accept jobs in Syria and Iraq or pay at least $3,000 for their return ticket to the Philippines,” Torres said.
Torres said that once overseas, victims will have no choice but to agree to be transferred to either Iraq or Syria as they may face imprisonment for their expired travel visas.
The victims will then be transported to Erbil in the Kurdistan region and then travel to Baghdad or Basra via Kirkuk. The victims are also transferred to another vehicle at least five times to avoid detection.
Torres reminded that there is the danger of being kidnapped by Islamic militants along the route to Baghdad.
He added that Iraq imposes hefty penalties for persons without the proper visas or with expired visas.
“Filipinos who are residing, working, or vacationing in Iraq are advised to take note of their visa validity dates,” he said.
“We remind our kababayan that the ban on the deployment to Iraq or Kurdistan of newly hired workers that was imposed in 2014 has still not been lifted,” Chargé d’Affaires Torres added.
Torres advised Filipinos who want to work abroad to first check job offers with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency or the Department of Labor and Employment.