2 Nigerians, Pinay nabbed for ‘love scam’

December 4, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 609 views

THE 55-YEAR-OLD woman sent money to her online boyfriend hoping she could be of help. However, when he kept asking for more — and after eight money transfers to him — the generous girlfriend’s love turned into dark suspicion. It was then when she called the cops.

Two Nigerian nationals and their Filipina companion accused of involvement in the so-called online ‘love scam’ in the country were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) in an entrapment operation in Las Piñas City on Saturday afternoon, PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. said.

The top cop identified the suspects as Nigerian nationals Precious Oghogho Samuel and Ushahemba Geoffrey Ijirzua, both 23, and their Filipina associate Leanna Veronica Padua, also 23.

Three other suspects identified only as ‘Phillip Brian,’ Emmy Benin’ and David Omamogho are still being hunted by the PNP-ACG as of press time, he added.

According to Gen. Eleazar, members of the Southern District Anti-Cybercrime Team and the Las Piñas City Police Station hauled the trio to jail

All suspects will be facing charges for swindling/ estafa’ in relation to Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 16 or Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

An initial complaint from the PNP-ACG headed by Brigadier Gen. Joel B. Doria said that the 55-year-old woman was befriended by a certain ‘Philipp Brian’ in one social media site. Their online affair further developed shortly after the pandemic which triggered about heavy security in Metro Manila and the rest of the land.

The woman said her online affair with ‘Philip Brian’ continued thru a smart mobile phone application. The PNP-ACG said that deceitful words and false promises, the suspect borrowed money from the female complainant.

The woman was able to send P230,000 to the suspect thru money transfer.

However, the complainant started entertaining doubts about her online boyfriend when he continued to ask money from her.

The woman said she made eight money transfers under the name of Leanna Veronica Padua, of which four transactions were claimed in Pulang Lupa Uno in Las Piñas City and another inside a mall in the same city.

During the entrapment operation, operatives from the Southern District Anti-Cybercrime Team recovered one iPhone, one iPhone X Max and one Techno Spark mobile phone from the suspects.

All three were brought to the SDACT for documentation and filing of appropriate criminal charges, said PNP-ACG director, Brigadier Gen. Joel B. Doria.

“Ang ating patuloy na paalala sa ating publiko ay kilalanin nilang mabuti at huwag basta magtitiwala sa kanilang mga nakakausap sa mga internet sa mga dating sites lalo na kung may kasamang paghingi o paghiram ng pera,” said PNP Public Information Office chief, Colonel Redrico A. Maranan.

“Hinihikayat din natin na agad ipagbigay alam sa mga malapit na istasyon ng kapulisan kung may mga kagaya nitong kaso silang nalalaman upang maaksyonan agad natin at hindi na sila makapambiktima pa,” Col. Maranan added.