The National Bureau of Investigation in Manila, the Philippines. Photo: Google Maps

Two Italian businessmen and three Philippine nationals have been charged with running an illegal recruitment agency that hired out seamen to foreigners despite having no operating permits or licenses.

The National Bureau of Investigation said Filipinos Henry James Avecilla, Judith Cabrera and Lucky Philip Cabrera and Italians Sergio Constantini and Maurizio Caselli were arrested. They are partners in True Alliance Shipping Corp, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Investigators were alerted after Leopoldo Arcilla Sr, president and general manager of Eagle Clarc Shipping Philippines Inc, accused the Italians of using an agency called Oceanus Maritime Crewing Services Inc to entice his former employees to work for them.

One of the arrested men allegedly admitted that the company had failed to get a license from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency. It was said to have used falsified documents to operate.

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