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Debt warning after 20 Filipinos arrested in transit through GCC

Debt warning after 20 Filipinos arrested in transit through GCC

Expats warned that a new passport would not protect debtors from detection

Filipino expats have been warned not to leave the United Arab Emirates to escape unpaid debts as it emerges at least 20 have been arrested this year while passing through the Gulf.

The former workers in the UAE were arrested due to non-payment of loans or other debits in the first five months of 2016 during transit through Dubai to and from Europe or the Gulf.

Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes has now warned Filipino expats that a new passport would not protect debtors from detection.

The moment you fly via any airline that transits in the UAE or GCC country, you can get flagged by the Immigration,” he told Gulf News. “Your name is already in the system.

“Just because you have a new passport does not mean your name is no longer in the system. Remember your details are still the same, your name, place and date of birth, face, [fingerprints], all of that are still the same.”

Those detained had unpaid debts going as far back as 10 years ago, according to the Assistance-To-Nationals officer handling the cases. He said: “All of them had previous employment in the UAE and transferred elsewhere. Many of them thought they did not have any pending cases.

“Most of the outstanding debts were small amounts like Dhs 10,000. But there were two [Filipinos] who had loans of between Dhs 100,000 and Dhs 150,000.”

“Please spend within your means. This is not our country, so please respect and follow their laws,” Cortes said.

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