Alleged notorious illegal recruiter who duped over 200 would-be OFWs nabbed

  • Osmando Nivero Habilag, an alleged illegal recruiter was arrested by authorities
  • POEA identified him as among the most notorious illegal recruiters in the country
  • Based on report, he has carted away P10M to P15M from more than 200 jobseekers

An alleged big-time illegal recruiter identified as Osmando Nivero Habilag, who has swindled more than 200 jobseekers into paying thousands of pesos for fake jobs abroad, was arrested by the authorities.

Based on the list of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Habilag is among the most notorious illegal recruiters in the country, an article published by GMA News Online on August 31 disclosed.

According to report, the alleged notorious illegal recruiter has carted away P10 million to P15 million from his victims after promising them jobs in Japan and New Zealand.

One of his victims said that he was easily convinced by Habilag when he was offered a job in New Zealand. “Na-convince po kami kasi, yun nga, may kakilala siya na pinsan sa POEA. In-offeran ako ng [trabahong] butcher sa New Zealand. P180,000 yung magiging sahod ko dun,” the victim revealed.

[We were easily convinced because he said that he has a cousin at the POEA. He offered us job as butcher in New Zealand and told us that our supposed salary will be P180,000.]

Another victim, who lost P55,000, testified that he was offered job as valet driver at a hotel in Japan. When the victim verified on the employer which was stated by Habilag,  he found out that there was no job offer and that the building which the latter said is still to be constructed.

Based on report, Habilag used social media to lure in prospects, particularly those in the provinces. In Davao, he reportedly victimized over 100 people.

Habilag, on the other hand, denied the accusation against him and pointed to a certain Alex Navarro, who he said is a friend and the one who convinced him to recruit.

“Ako ang naiipit kasi unang-una, opisina ko yung pinupuntahan ng mga tao. Nagsara kami ng pilit kasi unang-una, sa takot ko na death threat,” he was quoted as saying to authorities as he added he has remitted P5 million to Navarro.

[I am the one who was pinned down, people go to my office. We were forced to close the office because I was scared of the death threat.]

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has confirmed that an arrest warrant has been issued against Alex Navarro for illegal recruitment.

However, Habilag is required by authorities to explain his alleged use of aliases and fake IDs.