Manila, Philippines – At least three foreigners were arrested for their alleged involvement in a “black dollar” scheme, Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Monday.
The suspects were identified as Aroon James, 44, from Puerto Rico; Brown Akwe Fonboh, 43, from United States; and Gum Blanche Murphy, 28, from Angola.
They were nabbed in an entrapment operation launched by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group National Capital Region Field Unit last Friday at around 7 p.m. along Sunset Drive corner Pacific Drive in the vicinity of Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
Their arrest stemmed from the complaint of a Chinese victim who alleged that the suspects swindled P250,000 by making him believe that he could convert a money into a genuine US dollar bill by purchasing a liquid substance.
The victim also said the suspects on May 23 promised that they could produce one hundred thousand dollar bills in exchange for P5 million.
“Hindi ito palitan na bibili ka ng ano tapos bebenta ng fake dollar. Bago ito. itong liquid gear, supposed to be ikakaskas mo sa pera tapos yung pera mo magiging dollar. Let us warn the public here, itong liquid na to mabilis ang kamay nito. papakita niya na ikakaskas niya pero may nakaipit na pera, parang magikero ito,” Albayalde said.
The suspects initially evaded arrest which resulted to some police officers being injured.
CIDG chief Director Roel Obusan said they are still verifying if the suspects’ identities were genuine as they had no passport with them when they were arrested.
“Even the names hindi pa kami sure kaya we are really looking at dahil ang nakuha lang sa kanila ID, hindi naman dapat nagdadala ng ID ang isang foreigner, dapat passport, wala silang passport meaning alam na nila yung kanilang ginagawa,” he said.
Obusan said that they have received initial information from the Bureau of Immigration that the suspects have been traveling back and forth to the country.
The CIDG will also coordinate with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the US Embassy for the filing of appropriate criminal charges against the suspects for the fake US dollar bills.
Seized from the suspects were P5 million worth of ultraviolet powder dusted entrapment money, four plastic bottles containing a white liquid chemical, 52 pieces of 100 US dollar suspected fake bills, and several pieces of torn 100 US dollar suspected fake bills.
Albayalde said that the liquid chemical used for the scam will be subjected to a laboratory examination to determine its contents.
The suspects, who are currently detained in CIDG-NCR, will face criminal cases of syndicated estafa, swindling, assault upon agent of persons in authority and resistance and disobedience.