Cebu’s ‘Wedding Scammer’ wanted for 2017 estafa case

CEBU CITY — The ending of the wedding day of couple Cherry Pie and Arniel Purisima was something they did not want when they got scammed by the contracted wedding coordinator.

It turned out that the couple was not the first victims of Nasser Fuentes.

Fuentes was arrested on Thursday afternoon on the strength of a bench warrant that was issued against him in 2017.

Controversial wedding coordinator Naser Fuentes poses for mugshots at the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) after he was arrested on Thursday on charges of estafa./Photo from MCPO/MANILA BULLETIN)

It was found that Fuentes was charged with estafa and an arrest warrant had been issued against him after he failed to attend several court hearings, police said.

Operatives of the Intelligence Unit of the Mandaue City Police Office and Basak Police Station arrested Fuentes in his rented apartment in Barangay Casili, Consolacion town, northern Cebu.

Fuentes was arrested shortly after he tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrist. He opted not to be brought to the hospital.

Interviewed by reporters while detained at the Basak Police Station in Mandaue, Fuentes said the Purisima couple has already agreed to settle the issue amicably.

“We agreed to amicably settle this. They were kind and I am thankful for that,” said Fuentes, who sport a bandage on his left wrist.

Fuentes, however, did not comment on the estafa case that he is facing and other accusations that have surfaced against him.

Interviewed by a local radio station, Cherry Pie said they had paid Fuentes P65,000 as their wedding coordinator.

Part of the agreement included the preparation of the reception venue and the catering food services.

Cherry Pie said she came to know Fuentes through Facebook and started transacting with him last February.

“We trusted him because his Facebook page has good reviews,” said Cherry Pie.

Even on the day of the wedding last Wednesday, Cherry Pie was still able to talk to Fuentes.

“He went to our house but left around lunchtime. We waited for him to come back because the wedding was scheduled at 3 p.m. He did not show up anymore so we just decided to go to the church without him,” said Cherry Pie.

Right after the wedding ceremony, the couple, together with relatives and guests, proceeded to Barangay Labangon, Cebu City for the reception.

To the shock of everyone, the reception venue was closed and no food was prepared.

According to the management of the catering services, the venue was not booked for the wedding after Fuentes did not pay the downpayment despite repeated demands.

Cherry Pie said that prior to the wedding, she communicated with the staff of the catering services.

“I was told that Nasser was communicating directly with the owner. They even showed me their conversation so I thought everything was okay,” said Cherry Pie.

The video showing Cherry Pie breaking down while still in her wedding gown has gone viral on social media.

The video was taken at the venue where the reception was supposed to take place.

Celebrity couple Chito and Neri Miranda has already promised to shoulder the reception of the Purisima couple.

Cherry Pie said a lot of people have actually offered to shoulder the reception. The newlywed couple has also agreed for an out-of-court settlement with the controversial wedding coordinator.