Maid arrested on suspicion of connivance with ‘Dugo-dugo’ gangBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Househelp Christine Joy Arsenio said she turned over cash and jewelry worth a total of P1.4 million to a woman who claimed her employers had met an accident and were in dire need of as much money as she could find in the house for their treatment.
But neither her employers, Elaine Ching and her husband, nor the police believed the story that it was another con game pulled off by the so-called Dugo-Dugo Gang. She was caught wearing one of her employer’s bracelets, police said.
So the 19-year-old maid was detained at the Quezon City Police District Friday afternoon after being subjected to an inquest on charges of qualified theft.
Case investigator Senior Police Officer 1 Johnny Mahilum said Elaine Ching, 33, reported to have lost P200,000 in various foreign currencies; a Rolex watch valued at P300,000; an Omega watch worth P150,000; as well as assorted jewelry and her passport.
Mahilum said the maid’s employers had frequently reminded her to be wary of the Dugo-Dugo Gang, the name the police have collectively given to these con artists.
Police learned from Ching that the maid was the only one in their home in Quezon City’s Barangay Bagumbayan on Thursday.
The maid claimed that a woman called and identified herself as Evelyn, a friend of her employers, to say that the Ching couple were in a traffic accident and needed money for emergency medical treatment. She said she was instructed to get the money and valuables from the master bedroom and place them in a paper bag, covered with clothes.
According to Mahilum, Arsenio said that, as instructed, she got into a taxi and proceeded to SM Pasig where an unidentified woman took the paper bag. She was then told to go to a Jollibee branch and wait for her employers there.
After three hours, the maid decided to go home at 5 p.m.
An hour later, Ching called up the house to give instructions about dinner. It was then the maid said she realized she had been duped and she began to cry.
SPO4 Allan dela Cruz of the theft and robbery section noted that the Chings were sympathetic at first, but changed their minds and suspected her of involvement with the conmen when they saw the maid wearing one of Ching’s bracelets.
He said he also saw Ching’s lipstick and other belongings inside the maid’s room.