5 OFWs Jailed Over TikTok Joke in the UAE, DMW Reminds Pinoys to be Respectful

In Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), five OFWs were jailed over a TikTok joke – and the DMW (Department of Migrant Workers) is reminding everyone to be “very, very respectful” because immorality, misdemeanor against customs, and cybercrime are very serious offenses in the Middle East.

Let this be a warning to anyone traveling outside the Philippines to always be mindful about your behavior, especially when you post something online…

5 OFWs Jailed over a TikTok Video

These days, so many people have fun on TikTok, using the social media and video platform to create different kinds of content. It’s even used to create product reviews or sell something online.

Some even use it to air their grievances, such as the Pinay who missed her flight to Israel over the immigration officer’s irrelevant questions.

But many people seem to forget that anything you post online can put you to harm, even if it’s just a joke to you – especially when are in a super strict place such as the Middle East.

Five OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) learned this the hard way after posting a TikTok joke.

In the original video, which we aren’t uploading here, but has been widely shared online, five OFWs were joking around, pretending that they were waiting for “customers.”

The person taking the video introduced his “girls,” talking about their strong points, and even jokingly putting a “price” on each one towards the end of the clip.

Photo credit: Fabian Ortiz

Of course, they were really just joking around and they weren’t offering that kind of “extra service.” However, someone saw the video and probably thought it was for real – and reported them to the authorities who immediately took action.

The five are now in jail and could face at least 5 years behind bars plus pay fine if found guilty.

DMW Secretary Toots Ople confirmed the news, adding that a case has been formally filed against the five OFWs.

She added that the OFWs already have a legal retainer to handle their case.

UAE is strictly implementing its cyberlaw and is also very sensitive to actions against their customs and morality. Iba ang kultura nila, so we have to be very, very respectful,” Ople reminded other Filipinos to prevent this from happening again.

Where is Sharjah?

Sharjah belongs to the same country as Dubai and Abu Dhabi: the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

Some people mistakenly believe that Saudi Arabia belongs to the UAE, but they’re actually neighboring countries.

The UAE is comprised of seven emirates (or states):

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai
  • Sharjah
  • Ajman
  • Umm Al-Quwain
  • Fujairah
  • Ras Al Khaimah

Abu Dhabi is the capital city and is the largest and wealthiest of these seven emirates. It is followed by Dubai, then Sharjah in terms of population.