Twenty Filipino men were barred from leaving for destinations in Africa after their claims to have been offered construction jobs were not backed up with proper documentation.

On June 8 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) stopped the men, who were about to board a flight to Dubai. The men were prevented from leaving the country after the BI found their travel documents to be “spurious”, GMA News reported.

Jaime Morente, BI Commissioner, said that the victims claimed they were being sent by a Malaysia-based company to Sao Tome and Principe in Africa. However, the invitation they presented was dubious and they could not provide required details about their purpose of travel.

One of the victims said that they were offered highly-paid construction jobs in the African countries.

The BI believe that the men were victims of human trafficking. The victims were referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for further investigation.