‘Con artist’ nabbed by PNP can sound like Binay, Tugade, Año | Inquirer News

‘Con artist’ nabbed by PNP can sound like Binay, Tugade, Año

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 07:13 AM May 19, 2018

Move over, Willie Nep.

The master impersonator may have found a match in Vimbi Flores Avilla, who can sound like a famous voice over the phone and convince you he’s the real thing.

But Avilla is not an entertainer. He’s allegedly a con artist.


“He’s good,” Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde said on Friday, comparing Avilla’s talent for impersonation to that of Nepomuceno’s.


Albayalde announced the arrest of Avilla, whom he described as a con artist who impersonated top government officials over the phone to extort money.

“He’d call people up, then copy [officials’] voices. If you hear the voice, you will apparently believe it, because he has duped a lot, even elected officials,” Albayalde said.

Range of talent

Avilla was earlier arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation for estafa after he impersonated former Vice President Jejomar Binay, former National Irrigation Administration Secretary Peter Laviña, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Nestor Espinella.

Lately, Avilla has taken to posing, over the phone, as Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer in Charge Eduardo Año. This prompted the DILG chief to order a police manhunt for the suspect, Alabayalde said.

Avilla is also known as member of the “Basa crime group” which is involved in extortion, usurpation, gunrunning and other illegal activities.


Robbery, murder attempt

He was also previously arrested by the Manila Police District for robbery and was a subject of investigation in an attempted murder case in the city.

On Tuesday, Avilla was captured by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the San Pablo, Laguna police in Barangay San Vicente, on a court-issued search warrant for illegal possession of firearms.

CIDG operatives confiscated from him a hand grenade, a 38-caliber revolver, a bag, gadgets, SIM cards, assorted pawnshop and remittance receipts and bank receipts.

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Albayalde said the amount Avilla extorted from the con jobs had not been determined. —WITH A REPORT FROM JASMIN SALVACION

TAGS: con artist, Crime, PNP‎

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