Alleged German illegal recruiter arrested at Clark Airport

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DAVAO CITY (August 25) — A German national who attempted to recruit four Filipina caregivers was arrested by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday, August 20,  at the Clark International Airport in Angeles Pampanga.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente and BI OIC Deputy Commissioner Marc Red A. Mariñas identified the suspect as 72-year-old Herbert Joseph Vogt.

Vogt was arrested as he and his four victims attempted to board a flight of the Qatar Airways flight bound for Doha en route to their final destination in Germany.

Mariñas revealed that immigration personnel became suspicious when the four victims initially claimed to be traveling in sets of two, but denied knowing each other.

During the questioning , Mariñas said, the victims admitted that they were hired to work as caregivers at a nursing home in Germany.”

The recruits were made to lie about the circumstances of their travel.

The the victims studied the German language at a popular university in Manila, and they confessed that Vogt helped them process their application for said work.

The victims, whose names were not divulged as the anti-trafficking law forbids it, also admitted that Vogt was their German language professor at the said university.

Vogt was turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where he is detained pending the filing of illegal recruitment and human trafficking charges before the court. The four victims were immediately referred to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for assistance and further investigation.

Morente instructed BI personnel in the different international airports to be on the lookout for victims who might attempt to leave the country using a similar scheme.

“We have been receiving reports from the POEA [Philippine Overseas Employment Administration] that many caregivers were recruited for deployment to Germany without securing the proper work permits, guised as trainees,” the BI chief said. He warned that aspiring overseas Filipino workers “must only trust accredited recruitment agencies, and must ensure that they have the proper documentation from the POEA”.

It was reported earlier that Germany needs are at least 35,000 caregivers to care for its growing population of the elderly and the sick throughout the country. Officials in Berlin have described the shortage of caregivers as a deepening crisis that necessitated urgent government attention.-Jiann A. padillo/NewsLine.ph

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