3 illegal recruiters nabbed at MCIA

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim September 13,2019 - 05:30 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Using a supposed pre-nuptial photoshoot as a guise to travel to Taiwan with the persons they promised jobs abroad, three alleged illegal recruiters were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas Regional Office (NBI-Cevro) for human trafficking and illegal recruitment at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

The supposed couple — Kevin Parejas Casas, 23, of No. 10 1st Street, Saint Claire 2, Concepcion, Marikina City; and Maricris Ria Villegas Delgado, 25, from Brentwood Park Homes, Mambugan, Antipolo City — and Kevin’s sister Rea Parejas Casas, 32, were actually bringing to Taiwan four persons they illegally recruited to work in Dubai.

The NBI-Cevro, in a statement, revealed that there were seven passengers who were offloaded from an aircraft bound for Taiwan on Tuesday morning and were turned over to Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking-Mactan Cebu International Airport (IACAT-MCIA) and Bureau of Immigration Mactan-Cebu International Airport for investigation as they were suspected to be illegal recruits.

The NBI-Cevro then deployed an undercover agent who was able to confirm that the offloaded passengers were victims of illegal recruitment.

According to NBI-Cevro director Tomas Enrile, it turned out that only four of the seven  were the victims of illegal recruitment as the three others in their group —  the Casas siblings and Maricris — were their recruiters.

A verification with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) showed that the three persons were not authorized to hire and deploy workers overseas, Enrile said.

The victims also confessed that they were going to travel to Dubai via Taiwan for employment.

They claimed they were instructed by Rea Casas to meet with her group who would facilitate their departure from the Philippines to Taiwan, where they will stay for a few days to get their tourist visas for Dubai.  When already in Dubai, the victims added they would be working as house helpers and were promised that they would later have working visas.

The victims also revealed that before their departure, they were instructed to say that they were a group of friends going on a tour and for the prenuptial photoshoot of couple Kevin Casas and Maricris Delgado.

A case of qualified human trafficking in persons under republic act 9208 and illegal recruitment involving sabotage under republic act 8042, were filed against the arrested persons on Thursday, September 12, before the Lapu-lapu City prosecutor’s office.

The suspects are now detained in the NBI-Cevro detention cell as documents of transfer to the Cebu City Bureau of Jail Management and Penology are being prepared.

The four illegal recruits — two from Cebu, one from Mindanao and one from Luzon , have all returned home after their statements were taken, said Enrile./elb

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