AUTHORITIES arrested two bogus brokers suspected of extorting money during the joint entrapment operation of the Customs Intelligence Group (IG) and National Bureau of Investigation operatives (NBI).
Last Monday, May 20, Customs received a complaint about the alleged extortion activities of two persons who were demanding half a million pesos in exchange of the release of the shipments consigned to SHACKA Guns and Ammo which was held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Upon receiving the complaint, IG coordinated with the NBI Special Action Unit (SAU) for the complainants to provide their sworn statements.
Sometime after giving their statements, the complainants received a message from the suspects arranging a meeting at a restaurant in Quezon City. IG and NBI took advantage of the situation and organized an entrapment operation.
The complainants, together with undercover authorities, met with the suspects where the two alleged extortionists were arrested after they accepted the marked money.
Current investigation reveals that the two suspects were not Customs officers. They were bogus brokers who were allegedly extorting money from the BOC stakeholders.
According to lawyer Emeterio Dongallo, Jr., chief NBI SAU, investigation will continue to identify, apprehend and prosecute any other personalities who may have participation in the alleged extortion.
“We will not tolerate extortion and all forms of corruption in the Bureau,” Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said. “Customs will be cooperating with the NBI on their investigation. If any Customs officer is involved in this extortion, or any other illegal activities, we will make sure that they are prosecuted accordingly.”
Lawyer Dongallo added that an estafa case will be filed against the two arrested suspects.
“Let this serve as a warning to those officers who unlawfully hold shipments in order to blackmail legitimate businesses and individuals for money. The Bureau will do everything in its power to rid the organization of corruption,” the commissioner said.