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‘Ex-pilot’ nabbed for kidnap

June 22, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 2741 views

A PURPORTED former Air Asia pilot wanted for his supposed involvement in the kidnapping of a wealthy Iloilo businessman accused of running a multimillion-peso investment scam in the country in March 2021 was arrested by agents of the National Capital Region Field Unit of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in Pasay City late evening Tuesday, a report to PNP-CIDG director, Major General Eliseo DC Cruz said yesterday.

Niño Jorino Ledesma alias ‘Jino Ledesma,’ a resident of 208 Christopher Street in San Jose, Alabang, Muntinlupa City was arrested at the Hobbies of Asia in Pasay City 11:30 p.m. Tuesday on the strength of a warrant for kidnapping by simulating public authority issued by a Las Piñas City court, said CIDG-NCR chief, Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio.

Judge Pia Cristina Bersamin-Embuscado of the Las Piñas City Regional Trial Court Branch 198 issued the warrant of arrest against the accused with no bail recommended last April 8, said the official.

According to Silvio, members of the CIDG-NCR and the Southern District Field Unit tracked down the suspect following a tip from informants and days of surveillance. He was immediately taken to the CIDG-NCRFU office in Camp Crame for booking and documentation shortly after his arrest.

Col. Silvio said the accused has been identified as a member of the Maverick Sapitanan Criminal Group responsible for the kidnapping of Patrocenio ‘Don’ Chiyuto Jr. in 2021.

The victim was identified as the chief executive officer of the Chiyuto Creative Wealth Document Facilitation Services or CCWDFS which was accused of defrauding hundreds of Western Visayas residents of millions in 2021 until he was reportedly abducted on March 16, 2021..

“We have arrested another suspect in the Chiyuto kidnapping who has been one of the most wanted persons in the PNP-CIDG list,” said Silvo.

Days after the reported Chiyuto kidnapping, six persons including a policeman were arrested by PNP agents in separate operations in Makati and Parañaque cities.

The arrested cop was identified as Senior Master Sergeant Felipe Woo, then assigned at the NCR Police Office’s Regional Mobile Force Battalion

The other nabbed suspects were Maverick Sapitanan,24; his mother Marie Grace,41; Cyryl Malana,38; Celso Lozano,50; and Chinese national Gao Ya Quong,30.

The suspects were collared in connection with the purported kidnapping of Don Chiyuto in Barangay Talon Dos in Las Piñas City. The PNP leadership then said that Chiyuto was believed to have been kidnapped for victimizing dozens of people whom he enticed to join the CCWDFS which turned out to be a fraudulent ‘double-your-money’ scheme.

The PNP said one of the scam victims could have masterminded the Chiyuto kidnapping.

Chiyuto’s domestic partner Diana Cortez was the first to report his kidnapping to the PNP-CIDG.

Shortly after the six suspects were arrested, police said they are looking for eight other suspects including Ledesma.

The Chiyuto case hogged the headlines as members of the Roxas City Sangguniang Panlalawigan even appealed to the PNP to thoroughly investigate if Chiyuto was indeed abducted as there was the possibility it could have been only ‘staged-managed.’

Chiyuto’s company was accused of allegedly earning hundreds of millions, if not billions of pesos from investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission eventually revoked the registration of CCWDFS for allegedly selling investment instruments without the necessary government permit.

SEC also called Chiyuto’s business as a Ponzi Scheme which it described as a fraudulent investment scam.