By Jeffrey Damicog
Eleven persons, including two foreigners, were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for illegal recruitment.
NBI spokesman and Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin identified the two arrested foreigners as Egyptian Ahmed Ragab Ramadan Ahmed and Sudanese Muwafag Yusuf Omer Musa.
Their arrested Filipino cohorts were Lorezel Mainit Reyes-Sarte, Laila Verano Aquino, Jhona Pestjo Pastora, Rhazmalyn Ibrahim Musa, Josephus Askin Pacer, Vea Casandra Tindugan Berja, Howard Justin Villate Apuntar, Geanmarie Garay Ner, and a certain Julieta.
Agents of the NBI’s International Operation Division (NBI-IOD) arrested the 11 suspects during operations conducted at the facilities of RM Advent Global Services while in the act of interviewing job applicants.
Lavin said the 11 suspects worked for RM Advent, which has been found to be a legitimate recruitment agency licensed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and has been deploying workers to Saudi Arabia.
However, he pointed out that the suspects were not licensed, and not authorized by the POEA to recruit workers for overseas employment.
Because of this, Lavin advised the public “to check with POEA whether or not the agency is licensed, but also on whether or not the personalities involved in the recruitment processes are also licensed by POEA.”
“Sa Republic Act 8042, kailangan sila licensed din, may mga pangalan sila sa POEA so that they cannot be used later on by owners of the agencies na hindi namin tao yun (the employees of the agencies have to be licensed so they won’t have any excuse by saying these are not their people),” he explained.
Lavin said the NBI conducted the operation based on the complaint of three applicants who sought help after hearing that some other applicants have not yet been deployed to Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the 11 suspects have been charged with large scale illegal recruitment in violation of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.