'Illegal recruiter' collared

·1 min read

AFTER hiding for seven years in Lapu-Lapu City, a businesswoman who has pending estafa and illegal recruitment cases was caught by the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) Visayas Field Office operatives on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 3, 2021.

The arrested person was identified as Leonora Cantero, 38. The suspect is also known as Leigh Abad, and she had been hiding in a high-end subdivision in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City before her arrest took place inside her house.

Two courts in Las Piñas and Marikina in Metro Manila issued the warrants of arrest against Cantero in 2014.

The AKG Visayas Field Office obtained the warrants after it was informed about Cantero’s presence in Lapu-Lapu City.

Lt. Zosimo Ravanes, chief investigator of the AKG Visayas Field Office, said eight persons filed complaints against Cantero who offered them non-existent caregiving jobs in Los Angeles, California.

Each of the complainants reportedly paid P200,000 to Cantero. The complainants later learned at the Department of Labor and Employment that the company under Cantero’s name was not licensed to recruit workers.

In disbelief

Cantero, for her part, could not believe that warrants of arrest had been issued against her. She claimed she had reached a settlement with the eight complainants who are her relatives.

She showed to reporters the affidavit of desistance signed by the complainants and the prosecutor. She promised to pay P1.3 million to the complainants, and she already did return the money to the complainants.

Cantero said a family conflict with her then husband resulted in her failure to process the complainants’ papers.

She said the other reason behind the delay was the United States government’s implementation of a stricter policy in accepting immigrants. (AYB, GPL)