Over 200 victims of alleged human trafficking were rescued by authorities last Friday, September 28, after being held for four months at a private residence in Pasay City.
Eight officials of the recruitment agency, East Trans Global Manpower Consultants Incorporated, were arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group- Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU) in connection with the alleged crime.
According to the victims, the recruitment agency promised them employment in Saudi Arabia and made them live in the house as “stay-ins” while waiting for deployment.
They added that they were not easily allowed to leave the house.
One of the hopeful applicants known as Tess said, “Tuloy pa rin ang pag-process nila ng papers kasi hindi naman daw suspended ang agency nila. Hiningan kami ng P34,000.”
On the contrary, CIDG-ATCU Chief PSupt. Roque Merdegia Jr., said that the license of the East Trans Global Manpower Consultants Inc., has indeed been suspended based on the documents of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
“Recruitment agency talaga na nagpa process, may mga staff, may mga employees, despite the fact na suspended. Dapat nga sarado sila eh, dapat di na sila nag ooperate. Eh hindi eh, welcome pa rin ang mga aplikante, so walang silbi ang suspension,” said Merdegia.
The recruitment agency continued to operate and charged unsuspecting victims P45,000 processing fee in exchange for a supposed job as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia with a salary of P23,000.
The CIDG-ATCU is looking into the falsification of records by the suspects as based on the documents gathered by authorities, there are minors among the applicants.
“Ang iimbestigahan pa namin dito siguro may perjury na ginagawa sila para lumabas na of age na ang mga ito on record para lumabas na nasa hustong gulang na sila sa dokumento, sa passport at kontrata,” said Merdegia.
The CIDG-ATCU Chief also noted that all the applicant’s passports were issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs Cotabato.
Authorities remind applicants to go through accredited recruitment agencies if they plan to work abroad to avoid falling prey to illegal recruiters.
The Eight officials of the East Trans Global Manpower Consultants Incorporated are facing charges of syndicated illegal recruitment, estafa and trafficking in person. — Lea Ylagan