NBI nabs two high-profile scam artists

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MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation-Special Task Force on Wednesday, 23 October 2019, arrested two high-profile scam artists who were allegedly involved in illegal, fake transactions and false representation.

Arrested and currently in detention at the NBI headquarters along Taft Avenue, Manila were suspects Joseph Lua and Elizabeth Torres.
The two were subsequently slapped with high-profile estafa cases.

NBI Director Dante Gierran said the two suspects uses reputable institutions Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc. (FFCCCI) and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) in transacting business deals using checks from the two institutions.

Acting on and based on the complaint of an unnamed complainant, the NBI said the first questionable transaction allegedly happened last September 27, 2019 involving one Michael Tan who claimed to be from the FFFCCI.

Tan accordingly ordered 41 bottles of a prestigious brand of liquor worth P486, 480.

Exchange of merchandise and payment was then consummated at Ninoy Aquino Airport Terminal 3.

Tan then hauled out the merchandise and paid them in check which the victim tried to deposit it at NAIA PNB Terminal 2 branch.

The PNB then told the victim the check issued to him was outdated and that he needs to bring it over and deposit it instead at China Bank.

The said complainant who requested anonymity, also said that on the following day, September 28, he again received a call from one Philip Dy who again ordered 100 cases of the same brand worth P649,800 on which they both agreed to settle payment and delivery in Eastwood, Quezon City.

Just the same, the victim claimed he tried to deposit the check at China Bank only to be told it as fake.

Last October 17, the victim then again received another market order from one Atty. Jose Tria who identified himself to be from PAGCOR.

The lawyer was allegedly ordering 1,000 bottles of the same “famous” brand of liquor and wishes it delivered at Wynford Hotel in Maynila.

Sensing order No. 3 as another scam in the works, the victim contacted and sought the help of the NBI which secretly inserted a GPS tracker in one of the boxes containing the merchandise.

The suspects arrived in a van and quickly loaded the merchandise after issuing another bogus check from PAGCOR.

With the GPS tracker ticking, the NBI and victim-complainant silently followed the van that stopped in Lapu-Lapu St. in Malabon where they transferred the boxes of liquor to a small truck.

It was at this juncture NBI operatives swooped down on the suspects who yielded a manager’s checks and blank checks that they use in their illegal transactions.

Driver and helper of the van were also invited by the NBI to shed some light in the on-going investigation.

The suspects were slapped cases of high-profile estafa at the Manila Prosecutors Office. (BCuaresma/IAMIGO/CNS)

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