The Danish police were unsuccessful in tracking down the immigrants, but that was not the point. Europol estimated that the business could have made as much as 10 million euros (.7 million).'Reuniting families' DW spoke to Panabe in her small, sparse but tastefully decorated apartment in northern Denmark.
Years of state-sponsored labor migration brings in an estimated 23 billion euros to the economy but comes with a social cost of years of separation.Self-ascribed altruism Panabe, a native of the Kalinga mountain province in the Philippines, came to Denmark some 15 years ago as the bride of a Danish man she met while he was on holiday in the Philippines.She, like many other Filipino migrants, fled from grinding poverty in the hopes of finding opportunity abroad.She insisted that her business operations served the purpose of reuniting Filipino families separated by labor migration.On the surface, Den Phil was selling package tours to Europe, but police investigations revealed that the agency was a front for a simple but effective set-up of matching Filipino clients in the Philippines to Filipinos living in Denmark.
Sms dating Thisted
As undocumented migrants, these Filipinos exist in a sort of immigration limbo where they discreetly live and work in their host country but can't go back home.Doing so would mean not being able to return to Europe - and not recovering the estimated $10,000 it took to get there.Panabe did not plead innocence, but today over coffee and against the light drizzle that blanketed the lush green fields of rural Denmark, Panabe asked for understanding.The 46-year-old was both reflective and forward-looking, anxious to clear her conscience.Then came an anonymous tip that a Filipino woman, Iluminada Panabe, was smuggling people from the Philippines to Europe using Denmark as a gateway.
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The Philippine workers are desperate to leave the country, willing to pay a high price to wager a chance at a better life abroad. () Migrant parents are using social media to raise their kids from afar. () That was enough to start an investigation into the activities of Den Phil Travel and Tours, a travel agency that Panabe was running from Thisted, northern Denmark, with operations in Quezon City in the Philippines.
Living in Denmark exposed Panabe to the other side of migration.
Underneath the shimmer and perceived glamour of life abroad, there was the pain of being separated from family members and the aching possibility of never being with them again.
Panabe attributes her self-ascribed altruism to this realization.
She insists that her business operations helped reunite families and that she used her business earnings to establish the IDP Foundation, a charity organization bearing her initials, to send poor but deserving students from her province to school.