NBI files illegal recruitment raps vs. shipping firm

MANILA -- The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed criminal cases against five officials of a shipping company that have been found to be recruiting applicants without a license to operate.

In a nine-page complaint dated September 7 signed by NBI National Capital Region Director, lawyer Cesar A.Bacani, the bureau filed charges of syndicated and large-scale illegal recruitment against Henry James Avecilla, Judith Cabrera, Lucky Philip Cabrera along with Italians Sergio Constantini and Maurizio Caselli, incorporators of True Alliance Shipping Corp., before the Mandaluyong City Prosecutors' Office.

Also implicated into the case are two other shipping companies, Mama Shipping SARL and Marine Partners Monaco, who notched the services of maritime crewing service Oceanus as their agent in the Philippines and enticed the employees of another shipping firm, Eagle Clarc Shipping Philippines, Inc. to transfer.

The case originated from the complaint affidavit filed by Capt. Leopoldo Arcilla, Sr., president and general manager of Eagle Clarc Shipping Philippines, Inc., who accused True Alliance and Oceanus of conspiracy in the falsification of documents.

"Complainant alleged that True Alliance and Oceanus, together with Leonides Rico, Victor Dumagoso, Cyrus Walawala and Dianne R. Paredes, former employees of Eagle Clarc, conspired and confederated with one another in committing acts constitutive of illegal recruitment when it furnishes or publishes any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment and gives any false notice, testimony information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code," the complaint read.

The operation of the said shipping business in the Philippines was under the command of its principal owner --- Grimaldi and Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company of Italy.

The said respondents were also charged with falsification of public documents and use of falsified documents after it was discovered that Caselli was out of the Philippines when the notary was made.

"To recall,based on the travel records of Mr. Caselli, he was not in the Philippines when the Articles of Incorporation was allegedly signed and notarized. The same document was presented before the Securities and Exchange Commission. On the other hand, Ms. Cabrera categorically stated in her Affidavit that True Alliance passed the POEA evaluation of documents, however manning license was not granted only because one of the incorporators failed to appear on the scheduled panel interview with POEA. Apparently, the falsified Articles of Incorporation was submitted by True Alliance in its attempt to be granted a license to operate," the NBI said.

As to the case of syndicated illegal recruitment, it was alleged that True Alliance and Oceanus violated the law due to its fraudulent information, fake articles of incorporation and deceiving the public just to get a license for its business.

"Clearly, the responsible officers and employees of True Alliance should be held liable for Illegal Recruitment when it presented a falsified Articles of Incorporation in its application for a license to operate a manning agency. To give emphasis, the mere giving of false notice , document, testimony and information consummates the act of Illegal Recruitment as defined above. It does not give weight whether the applicant was later granted with authority or not."

The NBI filed charges of syndicated illegal recruitment because three or more persons conspired in the commission of the offense and the crime of large-scale illegal recruitment was committed since three or more persons became victims of the said criminal charge. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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