By Jeffrey Damicog
Two scammers have been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after they tried selling a property that they did not own in Batangas for P3.41 billion.
NBI-National Capital Region (NBI-NCR) Regional Director Cesar Bacani identified the suspects as Maria Fe Cruz and Jose Pabustan.
Cruz and Pabustan were arrested by agents of the NBI-National Capital Region (NBI-NCR) during an entrapment operation at a branch of the East West Bank in Pasay City last February 28.
The two suspects have been charged with syndicated estafa through the use of falsified documents and money laundering under Section 4 of Republic Act 9160 as amended by RA 10635.
Also charged are their still at large cohorts, namely, Mario Go, Sally Santiago, Myreen Fajardo, Chi Men Wong, Herman Artiliaga, Kathali Co Li, Agnes Esguerra, Efren Carag, Philip Nolasco, Jocelyn Gomez, and officers of Dearborn Motors Inc.
Bacani said the arrest was made based on the complaint of Opal Fortfolio Investment.
During investigation, Bacani learned that the suspects had tried selling to Excelsior Properties Inc. a large property in Batangas belonging to Opal for P3.41 billion.
Cruz who used the fictitious name Flor Adoptante was able to open a bank account at East West Bank on behalf of Opal and using funds drawn from the check issued by Excelsior with the amount of P341 million which was the initial payment for the property.
However, the bank contacted Opal when the suspects tried to issue checks to their cohorts.
Opal told the bank that it did not open an account there.
Because of this, Opal sought the help of the NBI which arrested the suspects who tried picking up the checks.