Former Customs deputy commissioner busted for alleged extortion
MANILA, Philippines — A former official of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and his alleged cohort have been arrested for allegedly extorting money from firearms importers, authorities said Thursday.
According to a report from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), former BOC Deputy Commissioner Roberto Geotina and alleged accomplice Nancita Nuguid, were arrested in an entrapment operation by joint operatives of the Customs Intelligence Group and NBI at a restaurant in Quezon City on Wednesday.
The operation stemmed from a complaint filed by proprietors, who accused the two suspects of purportedly demanding half a million pesos for the supposed release of shipments consigned to a firearms company that was being held at the Ninoy Aquino International Aiport (Naia).
The money was supposed to be given as a bribe to customs officials for the release of the shipments, according to NBI.
Geotina and Nuguid, the NBI said, had lunch with the complainant-importers and then asked for the P500,000. Nuguid handed over a black plastic bag where one on the proprietors placed the entrapment money, the NBI added.
Nuguid received the money but handed it to Geotina, who, after checking the contents, took it and kept it, according to the NBI report.
At this juncture, operatives pounced on the suspects and arrested them.
“We will not tolerate extortion and all forms of corruption in the Bureau,” BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said in a statement.
“Customs will be cooperating with the NBI on their investigation. If any Customs officer is involved in this extortion, or any other illegal activities, we will make sure that they are prosecuted accordingly,” he added.
An estafa case will be filed against Geotina and Nuguid, according to NBI special action unit chief Emeterio Dongallo, Jr.
“Let this serve as a warning to those officers who unlawfully hold shipments in order to blackmail legitimate businesses and individuals for money. The Bureau will do everything in its power to rid the organization of corruption,” Guerrero said. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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