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34 in recruitment scheme face raps for fraud

By Tina Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:18:00 09/24/2010

Filed Under: Crime, Overseas Employment

THIRTY-FOUR persons, including three foreign nationals, were charged Tuesday for allegedly defrauding at least 19 jobseekers, mostly nurses, of P300,000 each, in exchange for high-paying jobs in the United Kingdom.

Charged with syndicated and large scale illegal recruitment and estafa in the Makati Prosecutor?s Office were Timothy Malcolm Sargeant, 53, and Karen Denise Wood, 38, both British nationals; Kenyan Paul Maundu Nyamai, 33, and the Filipino staff of the employment agency International Student Advisors 4U Inc. (ISA).

The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Anti-Transnational Crime Division of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group during an entrapment operation in their office at Mavenue Building, Guerrero Street, Makati Avenue, Makati City.

Senior Supt. Gilbert Sosa, chief of the CIDG-ATCD, said several other officials and employees of ISA are still at large, including the owners, Philip Leonard, a British national, and his wife, Bernalyn Nacionales-Leonard.

Also named respondents were officials and employees of Faces and Shots Video Editing Inc. and Sir Philip Leonard Learning Center Inc.

Sosa said ISA, Faces and Shots Video Editing Inc. and Sir Philip Leonard Learning Center Inc. serve as one-stop shops for illegal recruitment activities of the respondents through a student visa scheme.

Under its Securities and Exchange Commission registration, the agency is only limited to providing advisory and marketing consultancy services for training college and university courses in foreign countries.

However, on their official website, the firm reportedly advertises their capability to bring nurses and health care professionals to the UK on a ?Study and Work? program.

Many of the complainants said they applied for on-the-job training offered by the company because it promised big salaries as nurses and caregivers in the UK.

Each was required to pay amounts ranging from P300,000 to P650,000.

A verification with the POEA showed that the respondents and ISA were not authorized to recruit and deploy workers abroad.



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