Prosecution sought in Manila over illegal recruitment

Prosecution sought in Manila over illegal recruitment

The National Bureau of Investigation in the Philippines is seeking the prosecution of two Italians and three Filipinos for syndicated and large-scale illegal recruitment of seafarers. True Alliance Shipping Corporation, which is fronted by Henry James Avecilla, Judith Cabrera and Lucky Philip Cabrera, along with Italians Sergio Constantini and Maurizio Caselli, is accused of illegal recruitment.

The case arose from the complaint affidavit filed by Captain Leopoldo Arcilla, president and general manager of Eagle Clarc Shipping Philippines, accusing True Alliance and Oceanus Maritime Crewing Services of falsification of documents. Also indirectly implicated into the case are Mama Shipping and Marine Partners Monaco, which tapped the services of Oceanus as their agent in the Philippines and enticed the employees of Eagle Clarc to transfer. The operation of this shipping business in the Philippines was under the command of its principal owner (Grimaldi Group and Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company of Italy).

In a statement sent to Splash the board of directors of the shipmanagement company Marine Partners Monaco stated that the company “acting in its capacity as principal, has never been involved in any direct recruitment in the Philippines, and has an existing manning agreement with first class manning agents. We cannot recognize ourselves and our staff in such baseless allegations, especially from a former subcontractor, Eagle Clark, with whom we had business relations for only few months in the past, channelling a very small portion of our business, before transferring it to Oceanus Maritime Inc., whose staff were all regular officers registered at POEA”.

Marine Partners Monaco also specified that it decided to terminate the manning agreement due to Eagle Clark’s “very poor performance, disorderly organization, uncertain operational priorities and lacking in professional and moral values”.

Marine Partners saids it “has not executed any manning agreement with True Alliance Shipping Corporation, and the latter which was only incorporated, has not recruited nor contracted any seafarer for Marine Partners. We can confirm the allegation is false and that TASC was not in possession of a POEA manning license. As per records, TASC was renting an office in Manila in the same building were Oceanus Maritime was operating by virtue of the SRA (Special Recruitment Activity) being issued by LABOR/POEA. From all these allegations, the involved staff already explained the same in their affidavit in the NBI”.

Subsequently Arcilla, owner of Eagle Clark, filed another case of alleged falsification of public documents to the five directors of TASC for doubting the authenticity of the signature of one director (Maurizio Caselli) on the articles of incorporation in SEC. “Notwithstanding the latter presented proof of signature and mailing cover letter, that the document was signed abroad. The defendant lawyers already submitted all the reply affidavits/rejoinder last April 2018, and they are waiting for the positive resolution of the government bodies” the Monaco-based shipmanagement company said.

“Eagle Clark is merely sour grading because Marine Partners transferred its business to another manning agent. The NBI ongoing investigation is a complaint based on facts not true, and we are collaborating with the Filipino authorities to ascertain the facts, after which our firm will file a proper complaint for defamation,” the statement concluded.

Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.

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