Murdered Filipina worker’s recruiter surrenders to police, claims innocence

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The alleged recruiter of Joanna Demafelis, the slain Filipina worker whose body was found in a freezer in Kuwait, handed herself in to the Philippines authorities on Thursday.

Agnes Tuballes said in a press conference organized by the Philippines’ Criminal Investigation Detection Group that she only referred Demafelis to the recruiting agency Lady of Mount Carmel Global, who deployed her to Kuwait.


According to the Filipino Times, Tuballes used to be employed by a recruitment company that also sends Filipinas to work overseas. However, because this company did not have a license, they partnered with the Lady of Mount Carmel Global agency.

Tuballes clarified that she was no longer working for the company when Demafelis asked for her help, and was bound to travel abroad herself to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong.

However, she did refer Demafelis to them, and received $250 in return, the newspaper reported.

Tuballes said that she had lost contact with Demafelis after a few years, and only asked about her through the agency when Demafelis’s mother expressed worry that her daughter hadn’t called her in months. She said the agency replied that Delmalfis was safe in Kuwait.

The newspaper reported authorities saying that although Tuballes played a key role in the incident, she is not considered a suspect.

Tuballes added that she was surprised at the news of the 29-year-old’s death. She profusely apologized to the family, saying that she did not want her to be killed.

Demafelis’s employers, Lebanese national Nader Assaf and his wife Mona who were the main suspects in the crime, were arrested in Damascus late February.

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