CEBU

‘Scam Queen’ busted

THE wife of a cop that has gone absent without official leave was arrested in an entrapment in Lapu-Lapu City Thursday night, Jan. 16, 2020, for allegedly defrauding clients in a car investment scam.

Operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) 7 and the Regional Special Operations Group 7 arrested Chanelyn Asingua Almacen, 32, a resident of Corinthian Subdivision in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City.

RID 7 Chief Lt. Col. Robert Lingbawan said Almacen was tagged as the “queen of scammers” by police in Central Visayas.

She was also arrested for her alleged involvement in a carnapping incident in Mandaue City a few years ago.

In a separate interview, Capt. Romeo Caacoy Jr., the entrapment operation’s team leader, said they received complaints about Almacen’s alleged fraudulent activites from at least 10 persons.

“There was quite a number of complaints against her but what surprised us more was that there are more who have yet to come forward and report their experience,” Caacoy told Superbalita Cebu in Cebuano.

Caacoy said Almacen would entice potential clients to invest their money in exchange for cars she claimed to be selling.

Once she received the money, Almacen would allegedly promise clients that their investment would be used to cover the down payment of the car and transfer of possession, among others.

Among those who were reportedly swindled by Almacen was Dave (real name withheld).

Dave, who runs a rent-a-car business, said he met Almacen when she rented one of his units.

Not long after that, Almacen allegedly offered cars for Dave to buy.

She reportedly assured him that the vehicles were registered under a legitimate auto franchise company.

The two agreed for Dave to pay an initial amount of P20,000, or half the price for the down payment, to fast-track the processing of the car’s transfer of ownership.

“I was happy when she promised that she would pay for the remaining P20,000 because I was on a tight budget. She said she can just put a seven percent interest rate on the dues I owed her. I did not mind, hoping that I can make profit once the car is here,” Dave said.

It wasn’t until Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, when Dave paid his P20,000 installment that he realized that he had been victimized by Almacen.

He learned about the investment scam through a friend who was also defrauded by Almacen.

Marvin Godines, Almacen’s neighbor and family friend, also reported the matter to the police.

Godines said he spent P80,000 in December 2019 for a car that never came.

“I had been suspicious before but I did not mind it because her child is my goddaughter. To my horror, I was still victimized,” Godines said.

Meanwhile, a teacher from Bilar town, Bohol said she took a loan so she could pay for the P1.3 million Almacen had allegedly asked for the car she promised.

The police are urging other swindled victims to come forward so they can add their complaints to the large-scale estafa case they will file against Almacen. ( BBT / RTF)


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