Eleazar

PNP probes passport scams

October 24, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 198 views

PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday ordered the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group to investigate reported social media sites offering passport appointments for a fee.

“Nakarating sa amin ang paghingi ng tulong ng Department of Foreign Affairs tungkol sa laganap na pagbebenta ng passport application appointment slots sa ating mga kababayan sa pamamagitan ng Facebook,” said Gen. Eleazar.

“Dahil dito, inatasan ko na ang ating Anti-Cybercrime Group na imbestigahan at magsagawa ng mga kaukulang operasyon upang mahuli at mapanagot ang mga taong nasa likod nito. Hindi natin papayagan na pagkakitaan pa ang ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga OFWs dahil sa hirap ng buhay ngayon na dulot ng hinaharap nating pandemya,” he added.

The PNP-ACG headed by Brigadier Gen. Robert T. Rodriguez is now investigating the scam.

The directive came after Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Brigido Dulay asked the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation to unmask those behind Facebook pages and groups that offer a swift passport appointment process to applicants. Appointment slots for all consular services are free, the DFA official emphasized.

The DFA also asked Facebook to identify and take down these accounts to prevent the public from getting swindled into paying for a service that is completely free of charge.

Gen. Eleazar appealed to the public not to patronize the offers on social media and immediately report to authorities their illegal activities.

“Nililinaw po natin sa ating mga kababayan na libre ang passport appointment at hinihikayat natin sila na huwag tangkilikin ang ganitong uri ng modus. Magtulungan tayo upang tigilan ang ganitong uri ng pagsasamantala sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.

The PNP chief said those who have been victimized by this scam can file their complaints through the various platforms of the PNP’s E-Sumbong.

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