Nigerian nabbed over alleged P8-M online scam
SAN PEDRO CITY–A Nigerian national was arrested in Trece Martires City in Cavite province over what authorities believed could be a multimillion online scam that targeted Filipino women.
Chimaobi Michael Orijanya, 29, who entered the Philippines using a student visa in 2015, may face deportation after it turned out that he was overstaying in the country.
But the Philippine National Police in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (Calabarzon) is adamant to turn him over to the Bureau of Immigration just yet, until a case of estafa is filed against him.
The regional police Anti-Cyber Crime Unit is set to file estafa or a violation of the article 315 of the Revised Penal Code in Imus City, Cavite on Monday.
“We have been coordinating with the Immigration. (Orijanya) could be considered an undesirable alien (in the Philippines) but he has to first face the charges here,” said Lt. Col Julius Suriben, chief of the regional Anti-Cyber Crime Unit, in a phone interview Saturday.
Suriben, said they had been monitoring Orijanya’s online activities over the last two weeks after their office received a report of a possible scam.
Suriben said it all began when Orijanya met a Filipino widow on Facebook about a year ago.
“He introduced himself as Raymond Santos, a London-based Filipino contractor. They had a romantic, virtual relationship,” Suriben said.
The police withheld the identity of the victim, a “senior citizen” and a businesswoman from Cagayan Valley.
Orijanya made up stories that he was returning to the Philippines but was held at a Malaysian airport as he was carrying some US $28 million.
Orijanya eventually was able to convince the woman to send him cash in order to process his papers in Malaysia.
Over time, the woman wired cash deposited through local bank accounts under various names.
“Until recently, (the victim’s family) realized they had already sent P8 million. That’s when they grew suspicious,” Suriben said.
In one of the recent transactions, the woman was asked to deposit P380,000 through a local bank account under, Filipina, Rosevic Saraum.
The woman’s family was able to track down Saraum down in Trece Martires City.
Suriben said Saraum was recruited by Orijanya to act as his “money mule” or an unsuspecting conduit for the money transfers.
Suriben said Orijanya promised his money mules, who thought they were recruited into a legitimate money scheme, a portion for every bank transaction.
Saraum cooperated with the authorities, who launched an entrapment operation in Trece Martires City on Friday noon. This was after Orijanya again asked the victim to send him another P20,000.
During the entrapment, police recovered close to half a million pesos cash from Orijanya.
Suriben believed Orijanya could have other victims as bank deposits of different amounts kept coming into his account even after he was arrested by the police.
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