Delfin Lee arrested

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Thursday, March 6, 2014


MANILA (Updated) -- Authorities arrested in Manila Thursday night fugitive businessman Delfin Lee, the alleged mastermind in the P6.6-billion Globe Asiatique scam, said the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Lee was nabbed in front of the Hyatt Hotel in Malate, Manila around 6:45 p.m., said Chief Inspector Vanni Martinez, leader of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group tracker team.

Lee, one of the country's most wanted criminals, was brought to the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City for processing.

In a television report, Lee's camp questioned the arrest since the Court of Appeals (CA) recently affirmed its decision to cancel the arrest warrant for syndicated estafa.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, whose department opposed the CA ruling, was not immediately available for comment.

Lee went into hiding after Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes of the Pampanga Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 42 ordered his arrest, along with his son Dexter and other accused, for allegedly using ghost borrowers and fake documents to obtain P6.65 billion in loans from the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-Ibig Fund) in 2009.

The CA revoked the arrest warrant last November, noting Reyes' grave abuse of discretion for issuing resolutions dated May 22, 2012 and August 22, 2012.

The CA said the trial court did not carefully check if the crime was committed by five or more persons, which is the prerequisite for syndicated estafa.

Another CA division had cleared Pag-Ibig Fund foreclosure manager Alex Alvarez of syndicated estafa, saying he should never be at fault for notarizing the loan documents submitted by fake buyers of GA units in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

Dexter, GA accounting department head Cristina Salagan and former GA documentation chief Cristina Sagun are the remaining accused in the case. (Sunnex)

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