Cops arrest bogus kidnapper in Rizal
MANILA, Philippines — Police have arrested a male adolescent in Rizal province for allegedly posing as the kidnapper of a missing child to extort cash from her mother.
Authorities concealed the name of the 17-year-old since he is a minor and Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, director of the Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG), merely identified him as alias Rowel. He was arrested Thursday at Barangay Bagumbong in Jala-Jala town, according to police.
Estomo said Ivy Joy Grefelda posted on social media about the disappearance of her child, who was last seen at a church in General Trias, Cavite, on December 26.
She had also reported the incident at the General Trias Police Station the next day.
On December 28, the suspect texted her, saying that he kidnapped the child. The suspect then demanded P30,000, which was later lowered to P15,000, until it was finally settled to P4,000 since Grefelda could not afford the original ransom amount.
Grefelda agreed to send the cash through an express remittance outlet but at the same time reported the suspect to the police.
Acting on the information, operatives of PNP-AKG Luzon Field Unit and Jala-Jala Municipal Police proceeded to the area for an entrapment operation.
Police then arrested the suspect after he received the cash.
The suspect yielded a caliber .45 replica and a folding pocketknife or balisong during the arrest, according to Estomo.
But a subsequent investigation revealed that Rowel was a fraud kidnapper. Police said they are verifying if the suspect is indeed 17 years old.
Police also said Rowel is being held at PNP-AKG’s headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, and that the child remains missing as of posting time.
Edited by KGA
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