MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said its officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have barred entry to a Nigerian national who tried to pass himself as a citizen of Malta by presenting a fake passport.
In a statement, BI travel control and enforcement unit Chief Ma. Timotea Barizo said the foreigner, identified as 30-year-old Onyebuchi Emmanuel Ukeje, was denied entry last February 4 upon his arrival at the NAIA terminal 2.
Barizo said the Nigerian had just arrived from Bangkok, Thailand when he was intercepted by immigration officials. The passenger allegedly presented a Maltese passport and identity card.
But immigration officials grew suspicious over the inconsistencies in Ukeje’s statements and referred him for a secondary inspection.
The bureau said the passenger later on admitted in the interview his true nationality and how he acquired his bogus travel papers in Malta for US$2,500 from a Maltese citizen of Nigerian descent.
Using his fake passport, he allegedly left Malta in late December and flew to South Africa and Bangkok before proceeding to Manila.
According to Ukeje, he secured the fake documents because he was facing a “terrible financial challenge in Malta” and wanted to leave “to start a new life”.
The BI’s forensic document laboratory, which examined his travel documents, certified that the Maltese passport he presented is counterfeit.
“He was denied entry and was included in our immigration blacklist for using a spurious immigration document which is a blatant violation of our immigration laws,” Barizo said.
The immigration bureau reiterated its warning against foreigners who plan on using fake documents to enter the country.
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