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Convicted Pinay human trafficker in Denmark, victimizing Pinoys anew?

by Malou Talosig-Bartolome

A TRAVEL consultancy firm allegedly duped Filipinos in central and norther Luzon promising jobs as factory workers, welders, truck drivers in Poland.

The victims complained that not only the jobs were non-existent, they were also scammed and made to pay P122,000 as processing fees.

Migrant Workers Department identified the travel consultancy firm, IDPLumen Travel Consultancy Services.

DMW Secretary Susan Ople has ordered the closure of IDPLumen Travel Consultancy Services. Surveillance operations were conducted by the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch (AIRB) of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Yesterday, the AIRB closed the firm’s headquarters in San Fernando, Pampanga and its offices in Santiago City, Isabela and Tabuk City, Kalinga.

The main headquarters of IDPLumen Travel Consultancy Services in San Fernando, Pampanga ordered closed by the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch (AIRB) of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) yesterday for offering bogus jobs in Poland

Local government officials and police units in the respective cities also helped in the simultaneous closure operations.

republicasia tried to reach the IDPLumen Travel Consultancy Services through its Facebook Page, but has not received any reply at the moment. republicasia also called the numbers listed, but cannot be reached.

According to the IDPLumen Facebook Page, the company is registered at the Department of Trade and Industry last August August 2022. Its owner is a certain Iluminada Panabe Bovbjerg.

The DMW said IDPLumen Travel Consultancy Services does not have a license from the POEA to operate as a recruitment agency nor does it have any validated overseas job orders.

A report by Deutsche Welle said a certain Iluminada Panabe has been convicted in Denmark for smuggling around 800 Filipinos to Europe in 2011. She served a six-year sentence.

DMW spokesman Toby Nebrida could not confirm if the owner of the IDPLumen is the same Filipina convicted in Denmark.

“Please do not transact with travel consultancy firms offering jobs abroad. Illegal recruitment ‘yan. May naghihintay na one-way ticket sa kulungan ang mga nagpapatakbo ng ganyan,” Ople warned.

Investigation showed the travel consultancy asked job applicants to pay either regular upfront payments or a “fly now, pay later” scheme.

The Secretary ordered the filing of illegal recruitment charges against IDPLumen. She is also urging victims of the agency to contact the DMW so they may be assisted in the filing of cases against the agency.

With its closure, IDPLumen and its staff will be included in the DMW’s “List of Persons and Establishments with Derogatory Record.”

Inclusion in the list bars the company and its personnel from participating in the government’s overseas recruitment program, aside from facing illegal recruitment charges.

The DMW has advised victims of illegal recruitment schemes to report their complaints directly through the AIRB’s Facebook page, email airbranch@dmw.gov.ph, or their hotline at +63 2 8721 0619.

Photos courtesy DMW

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