The four scammers illegally recruiting overseas Filipino workers to New Zealand
MANILA, Philippines — Authorities were able to arrest in July 2017 the leader of a syndicate that recruits OFWs seeking to work in New Zealand. The leader is identified as Marivel Equio.
However, she walked free after paying P 90,000 to the three complainants.
Earlier on Tuesday, operatives of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU) re-arrested her through an entrapment operation at the Harrison Plaza Manila after receiving complaints on a similar modus operandi.
The suspect allegedly demanded P 60,000 from victims as placement fee.
“May opisina po kami sa New Zealand. Sa Pilipinas po wala. Ang company po ay hindi po talaga nakaregister sa POEA. Direct hire nga po,” said Equio.
(We have an office in New Zealand. We don’t have one in the Philippines. The company is really not registered in the POEA. It’s direct hire.)
Earlier, members of the syndicate identified as Cristina Limon and Nathaniel Camacho were arrested in Paranaque, while Edith Rico was arrested in West Avenue Quezon City.
Some of the victims said that the promised New Zealand flight of the suspects in the first and third week of March did not happen.
“Yung iba po ay kinuhanan nila ng motor para lang ipambayad. House and lot binibigay sa kanya, sinasanla para may pang placement fee sila kaya kailangan po napagbayad sila sa kasalanan nila. Mabulok sila sa bilangguan,” said Gemma Piscuela, one of the victims of the recruitment scam.
(They even get a motorcycle from one of the victims as payment. Others pawned their houses to pay the placement fee. They have to pay for their crimes. It’s their fault. They should rot in jail.)
CIDG-ATCU chief PSupt. Roque Merdegia Jr. said that the suspects were able to swindle money worth around P 1,000,000 from almost 50 victims.
This prompted them to file illegal recruitment and estafa charges against them.
Merdegia reminded the victims to stand firm on their complaints.
“Wag magpadala sa areglo. Kung magsasampa ng kaso ay ituloy para makulong na ito ng tuluyan at hindi na makalabas ng kulungan,” said the police officer.
(Don’t be swayed by a settlement. If you will file a case, follow through on it so they won’t be able to escape jail.)
The CIDG-ATCU reminded aspiring OFWs not to fall for direct hiring as this system is commonly used by illegal recruiters. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue