MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of immigration (BI) is strictly monitoring the activities of Nigerian nationals in the country after reports pointed to some of them as the ones behind the recruitment of Filipinos as drug mules.
“Ngayon po pinaigting po natin ang ating pagmomonitor at pagimbistiga doon po sa activities po nung Nigerian nationals dito sa ating bansa,” BI spokesperson Tonette Bucasas-Mangrobang told radio DZMM.
Mangrobang said that as of 2010 up to the first quarter of 2011, there were 1,276 Nigerians who arrived in the Philippines as students, tourists, those with working visas and those married to Filipino women.
She added that BI Commissioner Ricardo David ordered them to identify those with student visas and coordinate with schools to verify if they are legitimate students.
David, she said, also wanted to find out if Nigerians who have Pinay spouses are likewise legitimate and not just a case of marriage for convenience.
Last month, 3 Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking were executed by lethal injection in China. Their families claimed they were used as drug mules by a syndicate operated by Nigerians in the country.
“Ngayon po ay nagi-investigate at nagve-verify ang aming intelligence division sa mga data at impormasyong ito,” Mangrobang said.
Mangrobang also disclosed that they are also closely monitoring the arrival of West African nationals in all airports in the country to determine if their trip to the Philippines is legitimate or not.
“Pinaigting din ang monitoring ng arrivals ng West African nationals sa ating mga airports para ma-determine sa pagpasok pa lang whether papayagan natin silang makapasok dahil mayroon silang lehitimong purpose or hindi na po papayagan kung hindi nila mapatunayan na legitimate at hindi kaduda-duda ang pakay nila dito sa ating bansa,” she said. dzMM