MANILA (Mabuhay) -– The Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group busted a syndicate involved in so-called “sextortion” following the arrest of three suspects in an operation in Pampanga province, a PNP-ACG official announced Wednesday.
Senior Supt. Gilbert Sosa, director of PNP-ACG, identified those arrested as Allan Canlas, Antonette Fabian and Ronald Asuncion.
Sosa said that a fourth suspect, identified as Sheila Fabian, who is the main character in the alleged “sextortion” activities of the group, remains at large.
The group’s modus operandi, Sosa said, is to lure prospective victims in an online sex with their female cohorts using Skype. Apparently, the group takes nude photographs of unsuspecting victims during the session and later use them in extorting money.
Sosa said that the PNP-ACG acted against the group following complaint from one Jay, who is in Hong Kong and was victimized by Sheila Fabian. The complainant accused the woman of exacting a total of P1,469,815.72 from him.
According to Sosa, the victim filed a formal complaint before the Consulate General of the Republic of the Philippines in Hong Kong last Jan. 27 which was forwarded to the PNP-ACG.
Based on the complaint, Jay met Sheila sometime in 2013 and they became friends and exchanged contact numbers and email address.
On October 10, 2013, the victim received an email messages from Shiela inviting him to meet through Skype call. Due to his excitement, the victim willingly gave in to the request and agreed for online sex that occurred on two separate occasions, October 14 and November 5, 2013, respectively.
On same day of November 5, Jay received an e-mail message from Sheila containing his naked picture. Jay opined that the said picture and video were taken during their online interactions without his consent. These obscene materials were then used by the suspect to blackmail the victim and demanded money in exchange of not uploading these to Facebook and Youtube which prompted the victim to accede on the demand.
Record of wire transfers from the complainant to the suspects thru Western Union turned positive upon verification of ACG from the passports the suspects used to withdraw money from Western Union Apalit, Pampanga branches.
Seized from the suspects were a filled-up withdrawal slip amounting to P120,000 sent by the complainant via Western Union in Hong Kong which was the latest demand they asked from the complainant.
Meanwhile, another customer copy of Western Union receipt was also recovered from them with control number 303-070-8795 amounting to P115,000 from the victim dated February 17, 2014 with signature of Antonette Fabian pertaining to previous transaction with the Western Union Branch, located at USSC, Apalit, Pampanga and two units of cellular phones.
Sosa said the three suspects are now detained at PNP-ACG in Camp Crame while manhunt operations are ongoing against the suspect at-large.(MNS)