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Biz Buzz: Blacklisted

/ 12:44 AM February 08, 2016

The country chief of a European business consulting firm—a Singaporean lady who flies in and out of the metropolis while running local operations—has been put on the Bureau of Immigration’s “blacklist,” Biz Buzz learned.

And based on a BI order issued in mid-December, there’s apparently “substantial evidence” that this lady had engaged in “gainful employment in the country without a working visa.”

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Like many other aliens who don’t bother to get working permits, lady executive enters the country as a tourist (visa-free for citizens of the Asean zone, of course) and stays for no more than three weeks, then leaves again and reenters after a week or so. She would have faced BI detention and deportation charges had she been arrested for working without permit when she was in town, but the lady managed to slip out of country in mid-November even before the BI’s intelligence unit could conduct surveillance operations (as the entire Philippine bureaucracy was busy with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at that time).

Meanwhile, the lady executive managed to file a counter-affidavit at the BI saying that while she had been appointed as interim managing director of this local unit, she argued that she was still based in and reporting to the office in Singapore, and therefore did not need any alien employment permit.

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She also offered an interesting excuse: Claiming that her designation as “president” in the local unit’s general information sheet as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission had simply been “done in error” following the sudden departure of her predecessor.

The Singaporean lady boldly attempted a comeback in early January but, being on the blacklist, was refused entry at the airport. She was sent back to her country on the same aircraft (although some would have preferred her arrested to face local immigration and labor charges).

As for her employer, this raises questions on why a compliance company that supposedly provides expert advice to clients has taken such big risk of having a country head without a working permit and thus now languishes on the BI’s derogatory list. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Speaking of which …

EITHER Japanese national Shinsuke Kawauchi, alias Tajima Syuichi, is slippery as an eel or agents of the Bureau of Immigration tasked to arrest him “wherever found” are sleeping on the job and need to be whipped into action by Immigration Commissioner Ronaldo Geron.

Kawauchi being a senior citizen, the failure of the BI to effect his arrest for deportation proceedings is really puzzling. Or are there groups coddling the Japanese or are BI operatives sitting on an order to arrest him?

His offense? Kawauchi was found to have used the name Tajima Syuichi (supposedly unlawfully) in signing a memorandum of agreement with Guevent Investments Development Corp. While it was a private transaction between Kawauchi and Guevent, the Japanese national signed a false name in a public document, a violation of a BI regulation requiring foreign nationals in the Philippines to always use their real names registered with BI in all legal transactions.

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“The respondent’s presence in the Philippines poses a risk to public interest,” said Special Prosecutor Victor Andrew Siriban in the charge sheet he filed against Kawauchi dated Jan. 25, 2016.

Commissioner Geron approved and issued a mission order to arrest Kawauchi on Jan. 29 to lawyer Jose Carlitos Licas, the acting chief of the BI Intelligence Division “or any available intelligence agents or operatives.”

The problem now is that BI operatives have apparently failed to arrest the Japanese national within the seven-day effectivity of the mission order issued by Geron. Of course, the BI commissioner can always issue new mission orders until the Japanese is in custody.

Still, many in the BI itself are wondering why there is a delay in bringing in a 67-year-old foreign national.  Daxim L. Lucas

E-mail us at [email protected] Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

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TAGS: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Bureau of Immigration, Business, economy, Guevent Investments Development Corp., News
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