4 face syndicated estafa charges

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BAGUIO CITY  – Four persons where charged for syndicated estafa, illegal recruitment robbery and human trafficking after having been promised a lucrative employment in China that turned out to be false and not in accordance with such commitment.

In a 7-page affidavit, Joan Biniahan Castillo, a resident of 411 Magsaysay Drive, Loakan, Baguio City said she filed her complaint in order to prosecute the criminal and civil liabilities of the four individuals who allegedly conspired in luring her to work as an overseas worker in China with a lucrative compensation that turned out to be a false promise.

Respondents in the case were Cathrine Quibin an employee of the ABS-CBN regional network group; Alexander Castillo, Jaja Marquez, a manager of Forever Indulgence Spa, Frida Lopez, sole proprietor and owner of the said spa and several Chinese partners.

Sometime last year, Cstillo decided to go abroad to look for greener pasture as a domestic helper or whatever job and was looking for a job in Lebanon. She told her sister and friends about her plan that eventually led to her meeting Quibin, a friend of her sister.

According to her, Catherine told her that going to China is better because it is faster to go there and the salary would be as high as P35,000.

Castillo claimed Cahterine reportedly enticed and convinced her to go to Jaja Marquz, the reported agent, so that she will help her with her work application.

She was told that she will be paid 4,500 RMB or roughly around P31,500 and additional parks at P200 RMB  for optional weekend work P1,400 each week.

The complainant cited Jaja and her group will make salary deduction every month for six months to cover for fees and expenses.

Jaja then explained the itinerary that a certain Alexander Castillo knows how things are and he will be the one to assist them in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and prepare them for their trip in China.

Jaja also promised the complainant a regular employment wherein she will have a regular employment and employer once she will reach China. She did not say something about probation periods, trainings among others and that she and her group were able to bring at least 40 people to China.

Catherine then told her to get ready for the February 9, 2015 trip and that she met Jaja’s group met her a day before the scheduled trip.

She narrated that Catherine instructed her on what to do in Malaysia, saying that she had to act like the cousin of her partner Alexander but they are not related with each other although they have the same surname. Instead of calling Alexander sir, she will call her manong.

While in Kuala Lumpur, she and Jaja’s group waited for several days until a Chinese came to give them their passports for the trip to China.

According to her, while in China she had two employers but her latest employer seemingly did not like her and allegedly sent her home.

However, she was offered by the group that instead of going home, she will stay in China, she will reimburse the expenses of the group or find another employer.

The complainant’s family decided to avail of the offer that she will instead reimburse the expenses of the group amounting to some P210,000 with a downpayment of P70,000 while the remaining P140,000 will be paid upon her arrival in the city.

Upon her arrival here, the victim’s family decided to file a case against the alleged illegal recruiters for such false promises and abandoned paying their remaining balance.

The case is now pending resolution before the city prosecutor’s office.

At present, the four individuals charged could not be reached for comment on the cases filed against them.

By Dexter A. See

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