CEBU CITY – Police have arrested two persons who allegedly name-dropped a ranking City Hall official to extract money from contractors in exchange for projects in this city.
Marythel Nicolette Niere, 34, and Reihan Hunti,32, were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7) Tuesday.
The arrest stemmed from the complaint of City Administrators Floro Casas who accused the persons of using his name to dupe project contractors here.
Police said Hunt introduced himself as Atty. Farhad Akmad when he demanded large sums of money from suppliers and contractors.
Casas told reporters that the two suspects have been engaged in illegal activities since last year.
Previous attempts to arrest the two went futile until they were finally cornered last Tuesday, police said.
Casas said he learned the fraudulent activities when some contractors approached him, complaining that there were individuals who asked money from them so they get projects from the city.
The suspects claimed that they were connected with Casas, who would help facilitate award projects to the contractors.
Police said they first arrested Hunti, who was arrested shortly after receiving money from his supposed victim.
Police were able to track down Niere when the woman called up Hunti asking for her share from the transaction that turned out to be an entrapment operation.
Hunti pointed to Niere as the mastermind behind the ploy. He said he was made to believe that the transactions were legal.
Niere for her part said she was just also a victim and claimed that somebody from the City Hall just used her.
She admitted not knowing Casas. City Legal Officer Rey Gealon said further investigation will be conducted to determine if the two had cohorts from outside or inside the City Hall.