Philippine nationals travelling to the UAE as tourists are regularly having to bribe immigration officers at Manila before leaving the country, UAE daily The National reported on Sunday.
As a way of fighting human trafficking and illegal labour, Filipino tourists heading to the UAE are obliged to get clearance from airport immigration officers.
But in many cases, officers are abusing these regulations by telling tourists to pay them a fee in order to continue their journey to Dubai in a process commonly known as “offloading”, the report claimed.
“In October last year, my wife was offloaded three times. People at the airport offered to help her leave for a certain fee,” a Filipino hotel chef residing in Dubai was quoted as saying by The National.
The chef had to contact a travel agency in Dubai that had a contact in Manila. The wife was escorted to a specific immigration counter and then to the departure gate in exchange for 25,000 pesos ($600).
A spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration in Manila urged conned tourists to come forward and reveal corrupt officers.
“Please give us names … we can’t act on allegations unless they identify the immigration officers,” Spokesman Antoinette Bucasas-Mangrobang was quoted as saying by The National.