Police arrests Swertres Lotto ‘swindler’

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Sunday, November 13, 2011


by: Careen L. Malahay, USJ-R Mass Comm intern

A MAN was arrested for allegedly engaging in swindling on Borromeo St., Cebu City.

Silvestre Perez, 35, who lives in Duljo-Fatima, Cebu City, was arrested for asking money from two sisters in exchange for Swertres Lotto lucky number combinations.

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Carla, one of the victims (real name withheld), said she and her sister Erica were walking at the downtown area when a woman grabbed her hand. The woman told the two sisters that they are giving away free umbrellas and T-shirts courtesy of a local radio station.

Thinking that it was true, Carla and Erica went with the woman.

Swertres

At first, the woman gave them herbal tablets. Perez, along with two other women, then came and told the two sisters that they have to give money because he will be giving out winning number combinations for Swertres Lotto.

Carla became suspicious as to the intention of Perez and the three women.

Carla said she could not remember the radio station making announcements about giving away free umbrellas and T-shirts.

As she was about to tell her sister that they should leave, another man joined them and insisted on asking for money, which Carla refused.

“When I looked back to my sister, it was already late because she already gave P200 and a US$1 to the suspect,” Carla said.

After the incident, Carla and Erica went to the radio station, which holds office downtown, to verify if they have a promotion that gives away umbrellas and T-shirts.

The security guard of the radio station told the two sisters there was none, and that they have been duped.

The security guard told the sisters that they have been receiving reports of similar incidents about a group of swindlers that used the name of the radio station.

One victim claimed to have lost P3,000 to the culprits, the security guard told the sisters.

Carla left her sister in their dormitory, while she proceeded to the Waterfront Police Station to seek help.

“At first, I really don’t want to complain and intended to let this pass to avoid any trouble. But, my sister insisted on going to the police station so, she went there alone and complained,” Erica said.

Complaint

Waterfront Police Station Chief Andres Bayarcal gathered his men, namely, PO2 Felizardo Callego and SPO2 Leopoldo Bauzon, and responded to the complaint.

The policemen and the victim went back to the downtown area, but failed to find any of the perpetrators there.

The team of police officers continued their search for the group and found Perez doing the same modus on Boromeo St. The other members of the group were quick to run away upon seeing a patrol car.

“Makalagot kaayo ang suspect bah kay giignan ra ko nga bayran ra daw mi niya basta dili lang mi mo reklamo. Bisan milyones pa na iyang ihatag nako, di ko mosugot kay di na ko gusto nga naa pa siyay ma biktima nga lain (I got so mad at the suspect who told me that he will pay as long as I will not file any charges. Even if he will give me millions, I will continue to file charges against him so he can no longer victimize other people),” Carla said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 13, 2011.

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