Monday, October 25, 2021

‘Scammer’ wedding planner attempts ‘suicide,’ refuses hospital admission, later arrested

Photo from Mandaue City Police Office

MANDAUE City police arrested wedding coordinator Naser Fuentes, who allegedly scammed a couple in Cebu City, on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 23, 2021 hours after he left the hospital unnoticed. He had been treated for wrist cuts because he had tried to kill himself.

He was arrested in his house by the intelligence unit of the Mandaue City Police, according to a report of radio dySS.

Fuentes allegedly cut his wrist a day after news broke out that he ran away with P65,000 from a newlywed couple. He is reportedly renting a house in Purok Sampaguita, Barangay Casili, Consolacion, where he attempted to commit suicide. A neighbor said Fuentes is living alone.

The suspect’s name became viral on social media Wednesday, Sept. 22, after a photographer whom he hired to cover a wedding posted on Facebook a video showing the bride, identified as Cherry Pie Purisima, crying after finding out that Fuentes had not booked the place for the wedding reception.

Tonskie Elsisura, on his Facebook post, said the couple had already paid Fuentes P65,000 but they could no longer contact him hours before the wedding. They later found out that the place where the reception is supposed to happen was not actually booked.

Purisima, in an interview with GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak, said that her husband only wanted an ordinary wedding. This was the reason why they set their budget at P50,000 for the decoration of the church, reception and food.

Fuentes offered to provide the couple a bridal car, photographer and videographer for an additional fee of P15,000.

The couple gave P5,000 to Fuentes last March and added P5,000 in June. On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the couple gave P55,000 to Fuentes.

Reports said Fuentes has scammed several others, not just Purisima and her husband. In 2013, Fuentes was charged with estafa after he allegedly promised a businesswoman that her cosmetic products would appear in several newspapers if she donated to a charity program.

Investigators learned that Fuentes left Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Barangay Jagobiao, Mandaue City at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Fuentes signed a waiver that he refused to be admitted. Afterwards, he hurriedly left the hospital.

The police also went to Fuentes’ place in Casili, but he did not return to the place. (GPL, REV, LMY )


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