By Jun Ramirez
An Eritrean woman was detained by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for attempting to leave the country with a spurious Canadian passport.
In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI port operations chief Grifton Medina identified the passenger as 31-year-old Safae Hazot Medin Omran.
She was arrested last Dec. 2 at the departure area of the Mactan international airport in Cebu.
Medina said Omran was about to board an Eva Airways flight to Vancouver, Canada when she was intercepted and barred from leaving by members of the BI travel control and enforcement unit.
“She initially insisted that she is a Canadian citizen despite discrepancies and signs of alterations on her Canadian passport and could not present any other identification document to prove her Canadian citizenship,” Medina said.
The woman later admitted her true nationality by presenting her Eritrean passport that was hidden in her luggage.
She claimed that she procured her Canadian passport for 18,000 Saudi Riyals in Riyadh and that she knew very well that the travel document she had used was fraudulent.
Morente has already ordered the filing of charges against Omran who is presently detained at the BI detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City.
“Foreigners caught using fake documents will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We have highly-trained personnel and high-tech equipment, so attempts like this will not pass,” Morente warned.