Monday, December 27, 2010

OFW held at Saudi airport for 'stolen' copper

MANILA, Philippines - A departing overseas Filipino worker was held at the Riyadh airport for carrying 150 kilograms of copper in his baggage allegedly stolen from his employer.
The OFW, identified only as Vicente, was nabbed by Saudi immigration authorities last December 11 for carrying 150 kg of copper as he was departing from the King Khalid International Airport, Migrante said in a statement.
"The Riyadh-based brother of OFW Vicente (not his real name) called me on December 11 asking for help for his brother who has been held at the King Khalid Airport," John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator was quoted as saying.
Migrante added that the brother called Monterona again a few hours later, saying Vicente has been transferred to Azizia jail in Riyadh as there are 150 kilos of copper in his possession inside his baggage.
"On the same day, I have endorsed his case to the attention of the Philippine embassy-Assistance to the Nationals section (ANS) and have requested to sent a staff to provide representation to the subject OFW and to immediately inform his employer-sponsor," Monterona added.
Vicente, 30 years old and a resident of Haen, Nueva Ecija, worked as a furnace operator for a Ryadh-based molding shop where copper was used as the main material, Migrante said.
Vicente was reported to be still inside the Azizia jail as of Sunday, the group said, adding that the police are waiting for decision of the employer to file a case of theft.
"Monterona said he had advised his brother to get in touch with their Human resources or administration manager to inform their employer-sponsor and ask not to file a case against his brother and let him go home," the statement said.
"We are again reminding our fellow OFWs to avoid doing things that would put themselves at risk especially when it comes to the local laws and prohibitions imposed by the host government," Monterona said.

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