NBI arrests online seller of fake phones-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
LAW enforcers arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of selling fake Android cellular phones online.
Mathwell Alviola Fernandez was caught by a team from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 in a mall in Cebu City Wednesday night.
Supervising NBI agent Bernard dela Cruz said Fernandez uses different names and pictures when transacting online.
“Kon hindi natin to nahuli, mahirap tong i-trace,” said dela Cruz, a lawyer.
The agents recovered from Fernandez two units of Samsung phones believed to be fake, and a .45 pistol with bullets.
He will be charged for violating Article 315 (estafa) of the Revised Penal Code and for illegal possession of firearms.
Last Aug. 23, complainant Mischelle Ruiz Royeca of Consolacion found a Samsung Galaxy S3 mini while browsing sulit.com.ph., an online trading website.
The cellular phone was sold for P8,999 by Fernandez, who allegedly used the name Edil Avergonzado.
Royeca called the suspect, who persuaded her to buy an S4 Samsung Galaxy for P18,990.
“According to him, it was their first anniversary sale so they are selling it at a very low price. Complainant was enticed to accept his proposal considering that it was indeed cheap, considering that an authentic S4 Samsung Galaxy costs around P30,990,” the joint affidavit read.
They agreed that one John Cabuenas will meet her at the parking lot of a mall in Cebu City.
At 4:30 p.m. of the same day, a man showed up with the cell phone.
Cabuenas, later identified as Joseph Larona, rode on Royoca’s car and gave her the S4 Samsung Galaxy, which was wrapped in plastic. She did not inspect the item before going home.
When she discovered the unit was fake, she called and texted Fernandez but the calls were rejected and text messages were not answered.
Royeca got a certification from a Samsung Service Center that the unit she had bought was not genuine.
She filed a complaint at the NBI, which set up an entrapment.
Agent Donaver Inesin, a lawyer, acted as the poseur buyer. He contacted Fernandez.
They met in front of a bakery in the same mall where the complainant picked up the cell phone.
Instead of Fernandez, it was Larona who showed up and identified himself as Vincent.
Larona gave Inesin the S4 Samsung Galaxy. He later received the marked money amounting to P19,000 as payment.
Dela Cruz then arrested Larona who was then counting the bills.
During an interview with the agents, Larona said he only acted as a delivery man for Fernandez. He receives a fee of P300 to P500 for every transaction.
Larona said Fernandez and Avergonzado are the same person.
The agents conducted a follow-up operation and arrested Fernandez in a restaurant in another area of the same mall.
Fernandez denied he is the maker of the fake cell phone units, and said that he just bought the gadgets from a store on Colon St. He said he ventured into the buy-and-sell business since he has no regular job.
He said he is aware that he bought fake products for less than P10,000. He sells the cellular phones for P15,000 to P18,000 each.
Dela Cruz said several customers, most of them from Cebu City, called the suspect’s cellular phone.
One of the victims is reportedly a medical doctor.
Dela Cruz said their next move is to go after the distributor of fake products.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2013.