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5 arrested in suspected int’l swindling op | Forum

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billyHill Moderator
billyHill Feb 28
I found this article here: http://www.panaynews.net/5-arrested-in-suspected-intl-swindling-op/
some of it is in Tagalog. translate.google.com does a decent job if you want to understand it in a different language.

5 arrested in suspected int’l swindling op

BY RUBY SILUBRICO

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ILOILO City – National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents caught in Fort San Pedro five people allegedly involved in a “worldwide” syndicated fraud that victimized a woman from the island province of Guimaras.

Two entrapment operations conducted by NBI Region 6 led to the arrest of a Filipina, two Nigerians and two Malaysians.

Rosalyn Ibarra of Bacoor, Cavite, and live-in partner Frances Onyebuchi Amadi, a Nigerian; Chukwudi Ugwu, another Nigerian; and Malaysian nationals Sitti Faridah Binti Abdul Hamid and Ishamah Binti Sheck Dawood were hauled to the NBI Region 6 detention cell.

They were charged with syndicated estafa in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 at the City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday.

Ibarra was caught on Feb. 23 while the rest were entrapped on Sunday.

A complaint from a woman the bureau identified only as “Marcelina” of Guimaras prompted the entrapment operations.

Special Agent John Katipunan said Marcelina, a resident of Barangay Agsanayan Carigon, Buenavista, Guimaras, sought their help after losing some P32 million to Nigerian and Malaysian swindlers.

Katipunan identified the alleged mastermind as Nigerian national Ogba Peter Amawhe based in Malaysia.

He claimed the syndicate has “worldwide” coverage and may have other unreported victims.

“So far the biggest money they got was P32 million from the victim,” said Katipunan. “I’m thankful nga na-arrest gid man sila.”

An arrest warrant against Amawhe has yet to be issued. Katipunan said the NBI will have to coordinate with law enforcers in Malaysia to catch the suspect.

Marcelina first made contact with Amawhe in April 2016 via an online chat room, Katipunan told Panay News.

At the time, Amawhe introduced himself to Marcelina — a widow of a Briton — as the American Stephen Desmond from Chicago, Illinois. Their communication continued via Skype — they have not seen each other in person, Katipunan said — until they became lovers.

Amawhe then offered Marcelina a deal: he will put up a business in Malaysia with the Filipina leading the counterpart in the Philippines, Katipunan said.

The Nigerian claimed the enterprise will need a capital of P500 million, so he asked Marcelina to open six bank accounts where he could deposit the money. Marcelina did, all with a P10-million total standing balance.

After a month, Marcelina wondered why no capital was deposited. Amawhe told her they would need an agency to process the transfer, lest they risk getting charged with money laundering, Katipunan said.

Amawhe hired the Malaysian-based Stanley Agency and asked Marcelina to send P7 million for the processing fee. The Filipina sent the amount via money transfer service.

Still the Nigerian failed to deposit the capital. Between December 2016 and January this year, Amawhe asked for P9 million more.

“Amawhe gave many reasons for failing to deposit the capital until naka-abot na ang kwarta nga gin-deposit sang biktima sa P16 million, pero wala pa sia Marcelina) gihapon nagduda,” Katipunan said.

But on the last week of January, Marcelina started having doubts and decided to check the six bank accounts she opened. To her surprise, all the P10-million standing balance was gone, the special agent said.

Despite this, Marcelina further sent Amawhe P2 million just to complete the processing.

“That was when they fought,” said Katipunan. “Marcelina went to our office, and we investigated.…Bisan naga-away sila, Amawhe called her via Viber to ask for P8 million more, so dira kita nakakuha sang chance nga ma-entrap sia.”

But the Nigerian told Marcelina that someone else — Ibarra — will get the partial amount of P3 million on Feb. 23. That was when the NBI entrapped the Filipina suspect.

Clueless that his dummy had been arrested, Amawhe again called Marcelina and told her to give the remaining P5 million to Hamid and Dawood.

The NBI entrapped the two Malaysians and Ibarra’s live-in partner Amadi, their alleged lookout, around 2 p.m. on Sunday inside a mall at Fort San Pedro.

On the same day, Ugwu made contact with the latter two, saying he will take the entire amount. He arrived at Fort San Pedro six hours later and was arrested, too.

Katipunan told Panay News they will hold a news conference today about the operation.

The occupations of Marcelina and her Briton husband were not immediately clear as of press time. All the NBI said was that Marcelina inherited her money from her late husband./PN

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