Recruitment firm under investigation for involvement with IS

By , on April 11, 2017

Photo: Koerdische Roos/
Photo: Koerdische Roos/

Winston Q8 Certifications Solutions Inc, a recruitment firm authorized by the government of Kuwait to hire overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is now a subject of a government investigation for its involvement with a couple who are confirmed members of terrorist group, Islamic State (IS).

It has been concluded that the recruitment firm was responsible for the entry of Kuwaiti Husayn al-Dhafiri and Syrian Rahaf Zina in the country. Al-Dhafiri was reported to have been involved with manufacturing explosives, while Zina is the widow of Abu Jandal Al-Kuwaiti who has been named as the number two military commander of the IS in Syria.

Reports indicate that Al-Dhafiri went to the country last year on a tourist visa and returned with Zina after securing working visas. The couple arrived in the country last January 28 from Qatar. Al-Dhafiri was also found to have been working for Winston Q8  and the couple had traveled to Cebu and Davao which could mean that there is a high possibility that they had established communications with local groups and might have recruited members.

Authorities arrested the couple last March 25 and they are currently in the custody of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Government of Kuwait had already confirmed the affiliation of the couple to IS and requested their deportation.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre presented them to the public on Thursday and revealed that the couple was “plotting a bombing attack.”

For Winston Q8, this is not the first time that the recruitment firm was involved with anomalies. The House of Representatives had investigated the firm last year over allegations of illegal recruitment. The firm was also involved in a controversy after the Department of Health had ordered to close eight health clinics that it authorized to issue medical clearances to OFWs bound to Kuwait.

As of the moment, authorities had intensified the profiling process of passengers in airports while investigators are still looking into the possibility of other IS members entering the country.