Two on trial in Ireland for 'illegal' hiring of Pinoy sailors
Owners of an Irish trawler were put on trial for allegedly hiring two Filipino sailors without having appropriate permits, reports said.
Leonard Hyde and Pat O’Mahony denied violating the Illegal Immigrants Act 2000 and the Employment Permits Act 2003 for knowingly facilitating the entry of two Filipino nationals hired without an employment permit, a report on The Irish Times said.
Hyde and O'Mahoney's alleged offenses were discovered when immigration bureau officials interviewed Demie Balbin Omol and Lyndon Nagale aboard the trawler Labardie Fisher on October 5, 2015.
Det Garda Maureen Moriarty and Det Garda Michelle Saunders discovered that both Filipinos had neither Irish work permits nor immigration stamps on their passports though they were brought to Cork as early as March that year.
Omol and Nagale told the Cork District Court that they flew to the UK from the Philippines before flying to Belfast Airport where they were picked up by O'Mahoney and brought to Cork.
A report on Independent Ireland said O'Mahoney told investigating policemen that they hired the Filipinos because they, like "90 percent" of Irish boats, "cannot get enough Irish staff."
Labardie Fisher's owners entered a contract with Diamond Marine for Omol and Nagale, who were paid a monthly fee of $1,075 each. The Filipinos were also provided cash for groceries, phone credit, Wi-Fi, TV, and full control of passports and their destination on days off.
Hyde, as reported by The Guardian, said it was the first time they recruited workers outside the European Union and they had done so because "it was the done thing" in their area.
Their counsel, David Browne, said Hyde and O'Mahoney's contracts with Diamond Marine put the onus of providing Omol and Nagale visas and travel documents on the agency.
Magale confirmed that he and Omol, whose hospitalization for a brief illness was paid for by his employers, were treated well and was reportedly "very upset" when he was repatriated.
Their trial was postponed until March 8. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News