NBI operatives arrested Tsutomu Maniwa, 54, from Takasakishi Gunma Ken, Japan and Ruby B. Betita, 53, in a Davao City pension house after a victim complained he was duped and promised to be deployed to Japan for employment as a caregiver.
Six other victims, all from Davao City, identified the suspects as the same persons who claimed they belonged to Nissinkhi Daiichibyoin, allegedly a Japanese recruitment agency hiring caregivers for deployment to Japan.
The suspects were also reported to have victimized applicants in General Santos City, NBI special investigator Gerald Intes told MindaNews.
An endorsement for inquest proceedings was already filed by the NBI at the City Prosecutors’ Office Wednesday.
Intes said Maniwa and Betita were arrested when Ernesto Cemprano, 21, complained to the NBI that the suspects recruited him and six others in August.
Based on the facts used for the inquest proceedings, the recruits were required to submit a copy of the birth certificate, resume, caregiver certificate from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and a payment of P59,000.
Cemprano later found out that the suspects were operating illegally. The other applicants went to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) office here and found out the two were not authorized to conduct placement and recruitment.
Intes said they prepared the entrapment operation after they got the complaint from the recruits Tuesday. The suspects were arrested at 4:30 p.m. of the same day at Casa Havana along Rizal St.
He said the suspects have violated Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers Act of 1995 and Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. He pointed out that large scale illegal recruitment, with at least three victims, is a heinous crime and not a bailable offense.
Francis Domingo, POEA Mindanao director, told the Club 888 press conference Wednesday that they were able to arrest 44 illegal recruiters in 2006, which is almost 50 percent higher compared to those arrested in 2005.
In the same year, a total of 136 victims complained to the POEA, 28 more than those in 2005. The figures exclude those who reported to the NBI and the police.
Domingo said those who are interested to work abroad must first check with the POEA if their recruiters are operating legally.
He warned that a victim of illegal recruitment loses an average of P60,000 to P70,000. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)