An 'illegal recruiter' has been arrested in Manila for withholding a Filipino migrant worker's passport. Photo: iStock, Wikimedia Commons

An alleged illegal recruiter has been arrested in Manila for withholding a Filipino migrant worker’s passport in exchange for money.

Migrant worker Rosemarie Rodil said she sought help from the Manila Police’s General Assignment and Investigation Section to retrieve her passport from her former recruitment agency, The Filipino Times reported.

Rodil said recruiter Lalain Gomez, who is a former employee of the agency, asked her to pay 7,000 Philippine pesos (US$130) for getting her passport back, but she could not pay for it. She said she has been in debt because she has no work and expenses from her former recruitment agency.

The Filipina said she could not apply for a new job with a new recruitment agency, which offered her a job in the Middle East, without her passport.

The police set up an entrapment operation and arrested Gomez. Gomez admitted that she had been operating alone since the recruitment agency closed down.

She faces charges of illegally withholding a person’s passport.

The authorities reminded Filipino migrant workers to check whether job openings were authorized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and to only deal with accredited recruitment agencies to avoid problems such as illegal recruitment.

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