ILOILO CITY - Four foreigners are facing charges for allegedly duping a businessman from Guimaras of P42 million (S$1.2 million) in an alleged online scam.
The complaint for large-scale estafa was filed on Monday against Malaysian women Siti Faridah Binti Abdul Hamid and Ishama Binti Sheck Dawood, and Nigerians Chukwudi Ugwu and Francis Onyebuchi Amadi.
They were detained at the National Bureau of Investigation - Western Visayas stockade after their arrest in a hotel in Iloilo City on Friday.
Their Filipina accomplice was arrested earlier in Cavite.
John Catipunan, NBI-6 special agent, said the arrest stemmed from the complaint of a businessman from Buenavista town in Guimaras.
Catipunan said that the promised investment failed to materialize after giving the suspects a total of P42 million from 2015 to 2017.
"Our complainant was lured through internet by the suspects," Catipunan said in an interview over RMN Iloilo.
They chatted and convinced the victim to invest, he added.
"We were able to track the IP address of the computer used by the suspects in Malaysia so we decided to conduct an entrapment operation here in Iloilo after inviting the suspects to come for another P 8 million," Catipunan added.
The modus of the suspects was to befriend their victims through a Facebook account.
They would convince their victims to deposit money in the bank but would later claim that they could not withdraw the money due to taxes.
They would again ask money from their victims to pay the taxes in exchange for a big amount once the money is withdrawn from the bank.