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Pinoy Abroad

6 would-be OFWs rescued from alleged illegal recruiter


Six would-be OFWs were rescued from an alleged illegal recruiter before they could be sent to the United Arab Emirates, GMA News' John Consulta reported on Balitanghali on Thursday.

Four of the victims were found at a house where their supposed recruiter, Mary Jane Alcala, had kept them before their flights, while the other two were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 before their flight.

The victims were about to fly to Dubai as tourists.

One of the victims said Alcala had instructed them to line up at a specific booth to have their papers processed.

"Tatayo daw po kami dun sa may rebulto, magbibilang daw po kami from left to right, pang-lima may dalawa daw nakaupo, lalaki at tsaka babae, dun daw po pipila sa lalaki," she said.

Alcala supposedly lured the victims — who are from Iloilo, Zamboanga del Norte, Isabela, and Davao — with promises of jobs in Dubai without any cost through Facebook messenger.

"Wala pong bayad saka madali. Sabi po niya kasi, wala pang two weeks may visa ka na," said one victim.

The suspect said they paid for their tourist visas, birth certificates, and clearance, all of which were confiscated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) during the operation.

Some of the confiscated documents were fake, but the affidavits of support and guarantee had official signatures, ribbons, and receipts from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi with no name or information of the applicants.

"Nasabi ng apo ng mga biktima na may itinuturong sangkot na sa loob ng Bureau of Immigration," Bernard dela Cruz of the NBI International Airport Investigation Unit said.

"Ang stand po ng NBI ay imbestigahan at bigyan ng pagkakataon na marinig namin ang mga side ng mga taong itinuturo ng mga biktima," he added. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News