MANILA, Philippines – Two women convicted of estafa and allegedly involved in an $80 million fraud in the United States fell into the hands of the police during separate operations in Metro Manila recently.
Marilyn Ong, 56, a businesswoman, was arrested in Alabang-Zapote Road in Muntinlupa City while Edna Alfuerto, 55, treasury manager of Stonework Co. was nabbed at her house in Barangay Teacher’s Village, Quezon City.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Alan Purisima said the two are now detained at the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) jail pending their turnover to the proper courts.
QCPD director Chief Superintendent Mario de la Vega said they launched an operation against the suspects after businessman Thomas Lim sought their help to implement an arrest warrant for violation of the Bouncing Check Law.
CIDG officers face raps
De la Vega said they will file charges against 15 members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) who attempted to “rescue” the suspects from their custody.
He said charges of obstruction of justice, grave threats and physical injuries will slapped against the CIDG officers.
De la Vega said Ong and Alfuerto made the policemen believe that they were being kidnapped by armed men.
He said Alfuerto and Ong have been convicted by the Metropolitan Trial Court in Manila for seven counts of estafa involving P5,507,000 in January last year.
A team of policemen from the QCPD’s Criminal Investigation Unit led by Chief Inspector Rodel Marcelo, Inspector Elmer Monsalve and SPO4 Allan de la Cruz worked on the case and eventually tracked down Ong in Muntinlupa City.
QCPD deputy director for operations Senior Superintendent Joel Pagdilao said a check with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed that at least 22 cases have been filed against the two suspects.
Authorities said Ong is also facing an indictment case in the US involving $80 million scheme to defraud the US Export-Import Bank but is still subject of validation with the US Department of Justice.
“Based on our information, they (suspects) have allegedly been at it since the 1970s,” Pagdilao told The STAR.
The government of the Kingdom of Belgium, represented by their embassy here, filed a civil case against Ong and Alfuerto involving the lease of the premises owned by a Belgian company. – Reinir Padua, Non Alquitran