MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network): The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday (Dec 4) reported the arrest of three suspects allegedly orchestrating a romance scam in Las Pinas City, nicking over P200,000 from their victim.
Two of the suspects were of Nigerian descent, while the other was Filipino, PNP chief PGen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr said, identifying the suspects as Leanna Veronica Padua, 23, Filipino; Precious Samuel, 23, Nigerian; and Ushahemba Ijirzua, 23, Nigerian.
All three were arrested in a joint police operation of the Southern District Anti-Cybercrime Team (SDACT) and Las Pinas City Police Station for Violation of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (Swindling/Estafa) in relation to Section 5(a) and (b) and Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 also known as “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012”.
According to the PNP’s initial report, a 55-year-old female victim reported that she was first befriended by a certain “Philip Brian” on one social media site, sparking online affairs through a smartphone application.
She said the suspect borrowed money from her “through use of deceitful words and false promises,” with the total transfers she made amounting to P230,000.
All the victim’s transfers were sent to the name of one of the suspects, Leanna Veronica Padua. Four transactions were claimed in Pulang Lupa Uno in Las Pinas City and another at a mall in the same city.
When police arrested the suspects, they were able to confiscate three smartphones.
The suspects were brought to the Southern District Anti-Cybercrime Team for documentation and filing of appropriate charges.
Due to this, the PNP again warned the public against such scams, reminding them not to trust other people too easily, especially on dating websites.
“Our constant reminder to the public is for them to get to know each other well first and not to just trust anyone they talk to on the internet or on dating sites, especially if they ask or borrow money,” Azurin reminded.
We also encourage the public to immediately inform the nearby police stations if they know of any such cases so that we can take immediate action and prevent them from becoming victims again,” he added.