Perhaps love is like a resting place, a shelter from the storm. It exists to give you comfort, it is there to keep you warm.
But for a 64-year old late bloomer from Quezon City, the memory of her ‘long distance’ social media love affair with a foreigner, whom she thought is a contractor, brought her storms and troubles after she lost more than P3 million to him via online fraud and swindling.
Gen. Debold Sinas, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the 26-year old Nigerian ‘loverboy’ identified as Evans Amara Okeke was arrested along with two other suspects, Nigerian Chidiebere Junior Ezema and Filipina Judy Ann Japitana, when operatives of the police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group raided their lair in Las Piñas City on Tuesday, March 2.
Quoting a result of the investigation, the victim told ACG personnel that she first met Okeke in social media.
She added that Okeke used an account name of Michael Gerald. Reportedly, Okeke used another photo for his profile picture. Okeke claimed that he is an engineer based abroad and is set to come to the Philippines to build a mall in San Fernando, La Union.
“They started to exchange messages online until they got into a relationship,” said Sinas. That relationship resulted in the victim being duped to send her lover with money several times until it reached P3.23 million.
“The victim later found out that her lover is a fraud and she immediately sought the assistance of the police,” said Sinas.
Sinas said the three were arrested using a search warrant at Room 3, 47 Kasoy St., in Verdant Acre Subdivision in Las Piñas City after ACG operatives tracked down their location.
They are now facing 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”.