9 recruiters arrested for ‘duping’ 40 farmers

9 recruiters arrested  for ‘duping’ 40 farmers
(Photo by ANV)

NINE people were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI 7) on charges of illegally recruiting up to 40 people, mostly farmers, for non-existent work in Australia.

NBI 7 Director Rennan Augustus Oliva said on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, that their investigation revealed that the group’s modus operandi was to offer applicants preferential treatment for overseas travel if they recruited a certain number of new applicants, even though such travel opportunities did not exist.

Oliva presented the suspects to the media on Wednesday.

Last Sunday, May 12, NBI 7 agents, led by Florante Gaoiran, arrested the operation’s target, Alice Dumdum Rondez, along with Glenard Musngi, Librada Jumanguin, Cristina Tamayo, Elisa Tuñacao, Jocelyn Resaba, Lemuel Ahito, Leon Alegado, and Levert Fuentes, in Barangay Pooc, Talisay City. All suspects denied the accusations.

Oliva said the recruiters targeted farmers aspiring to work on overseas farms, promising a minimum hourly wage of P2,000. However, applicants were required to pay P1,500 for a seminar, P100-P200 for an entrance fee, P500 for a t-shirt, and P500 for vlogging.

After the seminar, they were also pressured to recruit new applicants.

The group filmed participants wearing farmer’s hats and reciting prepared scripts. These activities took place in various locations throughout the province, including Carcar City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City, Asturias, Balamban and Tuburan.

One victim from Lapu-Lapu City, Leonardo Sedurifa, recounted being made to read a script printed on cardboard in front of a camera. The video clips were allegedly sent to a company in Australia.

The Department of Migrant Workers in Cebu confirmed that Rondez did not have a license to recruit workers.

NBI 7 records indicate that 983 individuals attended the group’s orientation and seminar at the Cocoville beach resort in Tuburan, 200 in Sta. Lucia, Asturias, and 108 in Talisay City.

The suspects will face charges for large-scale illegal recruitment, a non-bailable offense. / ANV, TPT

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