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mangitbay
16-08-2005, 01:46 AM
Fellow countrymen. I got an email from a friend (sol) over the weekend. He wanted me to check if the mail he got from a company operating in Canada itru.

Below is what I found about the campany. Please read as you might be one of those unfortunate ones that got the letter and send in your application together with the fee they asked for.

thanks, mangitbay (Canada)


BEWARE!
"Wanted Oil Rig Workers
SALARY: $430/DAY"


EARN as much as $430 a day on a foreign offshore oil rig!
That’s about P22,000 every day, and tax-free.

Arnel Reyes, of Jerome, Agdao District in Davao City, got one of the biggest surprises of his life early last November when he received what he called a “once-in-a-lifetime job offer” in the mail from a Canadian Company called Caledonian Offshore Ltd. Similar letters reached Arnel Bautista, of San Mateo, Rizal: Francisco Bustamante, of Iloilo City; and Anthony Fred Juco, of Talisay, Cebu, among others.
The job offer was made by one Philip M. Croshaw , President of Caledonian Offshore. Croshaw claimed at least 41 positions were available on offshore platforms in the North Sea in Europe and other foreign oil fields, including opening for drillers, geologists, control room operators, barge captains, engineers, electrician, divers, welder, painters, room steward, and medical team and environmental crew members.
In his letter, he said daily earnings for a roustabout, or helper, were “$310 to $345 a day” because you are required to work 12 hours everyday. This means that you will have an annual salary of $42,000 to $46,000 dollars.” Caledonian Offshore did not name its partner companies but assured job applicants that petroleum contractors “supply working clothes for all employees. Board, food, laundry, etc. are all free on the rig. Food is of international luxury standard. There is an abundance of meat dishes. There are also free film shows and videos. The only things that you have to buy on the rigs are toothpaste and cigarettes.”

But here’s the catch: Caledonia requires job applicants to pay $483 (about P22,300) in the form of a bank payable to the Canadian firm. The firm specifies US dollars, not Canadian currency. “Payment will be made in two parts. $189 to be paid immediately as the retainer’s fee to start processing of your documents. $249 should be paid after you have received a firm job offer, accepted the offer of employment and received all the necessary legal documentation, permits and other documents in order to begin working abroad. This agreement is valid for one year or until you hired (whichever comes first) upon receipt of the retainer’s fees,” Croshaw wrote.

According to the company website (www.caledonianoffshore.com), Dec. 5, 2001, was its “final application deadline for 26 major oil projects now open” and that “any agreement and resumes that come in after this date, unfortunately, cannot be accepted.” (A check with the website on Sunday showed that the deadline had been extended to Jan. 31.) Some of the major oil projects Caledonian claimed it could help job seekers get started on included the following: Abana in the Gulf of Guinea in Nigeria; Alba Phase II in the North Sea, United Kingdom; Baldpate, Bayu-Undan, Cantarell and Crazy Horse oil field, all in the Gulf of Mexico; Typhoon oil fields in Mexico; Corrib gas field in Ireland; Espedarte in Brazil; Girassol in Luanda, Angola; Hanze F2A in the Netherlands; Kashagan in Kazakhstan; Mossel Bay in South Africa; Shah Deniz in Azerbaijan; Scarab and Saffron in Egypt; Liuhua 11-1 in the South China Sea; and the Malampaya oil field in northern Palawan, Philippines.

Based on the company letterhead, the firm has offices at 107 Shorting Road, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, and processing and service centers in Singapore, Denmark and the United States. A check with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in Mandaluyong City, however, disclosed that Caledonian Offshore Ltd. was “neither an accredited foreign principal of the POEA nor any government-licensed recruitment agency.” Hence, according to the POEA, an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment, Cale-donian’s recruitment scheme is “contrary to existing government regulations.”
Lawyer Felicitas Bay, head of the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch of the POEA, urged job applicants to ignore the deadlines set by firms like Caledonian Offshore in the payment of retainer’s fees. She also pointed out that payment of such fees did not guarantee work on oil rigs abroad.

Indeed, the fine print of the Caledonian Offshore contract says potential candidate’s name merely becomes “part of a computerized database” supposedly serving the offshore petroleum industry. The contract simply says Caledonian “will do a complete evaluation of your work experience, skills, etc. to find you a suitable position onboard an oil platform. When your receive a job, we will handle all written and verbal negotiations with your potential employers. As soon as the job offer is confirmed, Caledonian Offshore Ltd. will provide you with the necessary instruction in order to comply with the formalities required by the labor laws of the pertinent country.” Caledonian contract also assures applicants of its “full cooperation and assistance in finding you a suitable job aboard an offshore oil platforms.”
Reyes, 36, a former contract worker in a door and window factory in Taiwan, described the job offer as “parang hulog ng langit (a gift from heaven).” But “it’s too good to be true,” he said. He admitted he “initially considered giving it a try. Imagine, a daily wage of more than P20,000! What if the job offer is legitimate?”
Responding to queries from job seekers, the POEA early this month sought “investigation assistance” from the Canadian and US embassies, as well as the National Bureau of Investigation, to look into the alleged mail-fraud scheme of Caledonian Offshore and American Offshore Corp., another foreign recruitment firm.
On Dec. 5, Director Viveca Catalig of the POEA licensing and regulation office asked Postmaster General Nicasio Rodriguez Jr. to help the agency in its probe. The POEA’s Regional Center for Mindanao went one step further: It requested the Philippine Postal Corp. to stop delivering mail coming from the alleged non-existent foreign firms. Those offered job opportunities by Caledonian Offshore and American Offshore were “wondering how those firms were able to get their names and home addresses,” said Francis Domingo, head of the POEA’s Mindanao Regional Center, based in Davao City.

American Offshore has offices at the following addresses: 5090 Richmond Ave., Houston, Texas; 123 SE 3rd Ave., No. 342, Miami, Florida; and 599 B. Yonge St., Suite 283, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Like Caledonian Offshore, American Offshore is not accredited by the applicants to pay a retainer’s fee of $139.
In a Sept. 25 letter to Tricia Consolacion Abrasado of Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, the Miami office of American Offshore claimed it had approved her bio-data form and that she had been “accepted for the position of information clerk.” But the US firm did not say which oil exploration company was hiring her. Instead, it said that “due to the large amount of qualified applicants and the limited number of positions, a $139 retainer’s fee is required to show your true commitment and intent on working offshore as an information clerk. The position approved for you will only be held for 60 days from the date of this letter. It is extremely important that you fulfill (four) requirements (including photocopy of her passport showing her name and the document’s number as well as the retainer’s fee) as soon as possible,” American Offshore told Abrasado.

Instead of doing what she was told, Abrasado checked with the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC, on the recruitment activities of the US firm. On Nov. 14, labor attache’ Helen Custodio advised Abrasado to “desist from further dealings or sending any money to AOC.”

“The labor office checked with the US telephone company Verizon for such a company named Offshore Business News & Research with the same address. When we called up the telephone number given by Verizon, a certain David Merchant (Offshore Business owner) informed us that 13 other people have called up to inquire about AOC,” wrote Custodio.

“The mail box No. 342 on the address written on the American Offshore’s letterhead is actually a post office suite number,” Custodio wrote.
An inquiry made with the Florida Division of corporation website disclosed that the listed owner and only incorporator of American Offshore Corp. is a certain Rommy Kriplani.”

“A search in the same database reveals that Mr. Kriplani has been an officer/director of four Florida corporations that were formed one year and struck off the next. American Offshore Corp. was struck off the corporate register last month and currently does not even exist legally as a corporation,” Custodio said.
Like Bay, Evelia Durato, head of the Cebu City-based POEA Regional Center for the Visayas, called the recruitment-by-mail scheme a “recurring problem” of the agency.

“We encountered the same problem during the early 1990s. Some job seekers fell prey to false promises of recruitment companies (involved in the mail fraud scheme),” she recalled.

In May 1994, for example, the POEA received queries from job applicants who were reportedly offered jobs on luxury cruise ships through mail by World Cruise Corp., a Panama City-based firm. World Cruise was not a government-accredited recruitment firm, prompting the POEA to warn the public against its recruitment activities. Then POEA Administrator Felicisimo Joson asked the Panamanian Embassy in Manila for “information on the legal existence or corporate profile” of the company. A copy of a letter sent to job seekers by T. Alexis Cordoba, who introduced himself as WCC president, offered recruits “tax-free income, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per month (then equivalent to P25,000 to P75,000), plus additional bonuses on board cruise ships in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Pacific.”

“World Cruise Corp.’s Cruise Ship Employment Program is a great opportunity for people who are serious about wanting to work successfully on a cruise ship,” Cordoba had written. Because “goals and objectives are never achieved by dreaming,” Cordoba urged job seekers to “be daring, participate and let us help you.” Cordoba made the pitch in 1994. Seven years later and well aware that illegal recruitment remains a thriving business in developing countries like Philippines, firms like Caledonian Offshore and American Offshore are making the same claims again.

meripng
16-08-2005, 06:38 PM
Very true, indeed dont' be fooled.

Shofar
17-08-2005, 09:52 AM
Lessons learnt from "home made scams" can be justifiably applicable in any part of the globe. The notion that it is greener and safer with milk and honey flowing freely on the other side is sometimes an illusion.

marrydavidson10
06-04-2010, 10:23 PM
What is dirt candy? Vegetables, of course. When you eat a vegetable you’re eating little more than dirt that’s been transformed by plenty of sunshine and rain into something that’s full of flavor: Dirt Candy. It’s also the name of my restaurant, which opened in October, 2008.