SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela – The alleged leader and six members of a syndicate engaged in the selling of fake gold and palladium bars were arrested by the police in an entrapment operation here on Sunday, November 29.
Arrested was the alleged gang leader Rico Callueng, 56, of Fugo, Tuao, Cagayan; and his reported cohorts Apolinario Basanes, 55; Rodolfo Pascua, 66; Jayson Pascual, 30; Angel Lacson, 49; Edelina Patio, 50; and Arnold Villasis, 42.
They were nabbed in an entrapment operation sprung by the Criminal Detection and Investigation Group (CIDG) Regional Field Unit 2 (RFU2) and Police Regional Office 2 (PRO2).
In a report to PRO2 Regional Director Brig. Gen Crizaldo O. Nieves, the police team said it conducted an entrapment operation at the NC parking lot in Villasis, Santiago City after receiving a complaint from Engineer Felido C. Bautista that Callueng and his group sold a fake palladium bar for P10 million.
The report added that the suspects demanded from Bautista P1.5 million as deposit for the delivery of a palladium bar. It also said that Basenas, on instructions of Callueng and Villasis, asked the complainant for another P10 million for full payment for the fake precious metal.
Seized from the suspects were two vehicles, bundles of boodle money representing P10 million, a fully loaded caliber-.45 pistol, and two bars of fake palladium weighing 217 kilograms each.
Nieves commended the participating units for the successful conduct of the operation.
He also urged other victims of the Callueng group to coordinate with the police for the inclusion of their complaints in the cases that will be filed against them.
“The public should be made aware of the modus operandi of these groups to avoid falling victims and losing their hard-earned money in the end,” Nieves added.