Manila, October 16, 2018 —A joint investigation by the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Office of Overseas Criminal Investigations (OCI) and the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division resulted in the arrest of a visa fixer, Manuel “Nonoy” Bala, on October 5, 2018.
On October 5, 2018, OCI requested that NBI investigate two visa applicants who falsified their visa applications and presented copies of fraudulent documents. The applicants admitted to purchasing the fraudulent documents from Bala, who previously served a prison sentence for forgery of official or public documents. NBI facilitated a meeting between the two visa applicants and Bala, who arrived in possession of the original fraudulent documents, including a marriage certificate, income tax returns, business permits, and a credit card billing statement. As a result of the investigation, NBI arrested Bala for forgery of official or public documents.
OCI investigates possible cases of visa fraud, monitors all persons who attempt to defraud legitimate visa applicants, and cooperates with Philippine authorities to bring perpetrators to justice. The U.S. Embassy is committed to protecting the integrity of the U.S. visa process and ensuring that only bonafide travelers receive a visa to visit or work in the U.S.