Fake Customs collector, companion arrested for extortion
MANILA, Philippines – A fake Customs collector and his companion were arrested early this week for allegedly extorting money from consignees, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Thursday.
Deputy Commissioner Raniel Ramiro said that during investigation, it was revealed that the suspects identified as Gerardo Bundalian, alias Jerry, and his companion, Noel Panganiban were not employees of the BOC.
The BOC said prior to the arrest of the suspects, it had received a complaint that some consignees have been victims of extortion by persons claiming to be working under the BOC’s intelligence department.
According to the BOC, Bundalian and Panganiban extorted P48,000 from a consignee identified only as “Moriel” last August 12 and August 16. The transactions were reportedly for the release of shipment containers, the BOC said.
With the complaint, the BOC launched on September 2 an entrapment operation for the arrest of the suspects. The entrapment was done by operatives from the BOC Intelligence Division, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard.
During the entrapment which was done at the parking area of a shopping mall in Malate, Manila, operatives arrested the suspects after receiving the marked P43,000 cash from an undercover agent.
Bundalian and Panganiban were then brought to the NBI headquarters for inquest proceedings. /muf
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