Four foreign nationals who swindled money in exchange for US dollar bills, which turned out to be fake, were arrested by the police in an entrapment operation in Quezon City, Philippines, Wednesday night.
Quezon City Police District director, Chief Superintendent Joselito Esquivel Jr., presented to the media yesterday the four foreigners he identified as Bame Jacob, 42, an auto mechanic in Taguig City; Ogie Mbang, 48, a businessman currently residing in Makati City; Tangang Yannick Ndare, 27, a student also residing in Makati City; and Aly Camara, 33, presently residing in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
It appears that the arrested suspects were all from the Republic of Cameroon in Central Africa.
According to Superintendent Gil Torralba, chief of QCPD-Special Operations Unit (DSOU), three people who were victimized by the suspects sought help from them.
Victims said they had once bought genuine US dollars from the suspects.
Last April 2018, the victims said that the foreigners showed them how to counterfeit US dollars which appeared to be genuine when applied with an unknown liquid chemical.
To prove, the suspects brought the complainants to an unidentified person who confirmed that the US dollar was genuine and bought 100 US dollars from the Cameroonians for Php5,200.
With this, victims were convinced that the fake banknotes appeared to be genuine when applied with the liquid chemical.
The victims then bought 100 US Dollars worth Php5,200 and were also convinced by the suspects to invest in buying the liquid chemical worth Php300,000.
Suspects also told the complainants that their money will be doubled once they purchase the said liquid.
At around 1 p.m. on May 16, the suspects met with the victims at the parking lot of a mall in Quezon City and gave Php300,000 for the investment in the liquid chemical.
The two groups met again on May 21 at the same place supposedly for the victims to get their investment.
However, the four men gave them raw 100 US Dollars in a transparent plastic and were told to wait for the arrival of the liquid chemical. The two parties agreed to meet again on May 23 in a different mall to get their investment.
Sensing that they were defrauded, the victims sought assistance with the DSOU who immediately planned for an entrapment operation at around 7:30 p.m., May 23 at the parking lot of a mall in Quezon City.
After the deal, operatives immediately collared the suspects.
Seized from them were three small vaults containing a total of 5,220 pieces of fake US Federal Reserves which will be submitted to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for authenticity and safekeeping.
Police are investigating if they have other victims and will also probe whether they belong to a syndicate.
Torralba said they will continue their verification with the immigration after inquest as he believed that suspects are using fictitious names.
The suspects will be charged with swindling through estafa and illegal possession of false treasury or banknotes and other instruments of credit.