Thursday, December 02, 2021

Couple sues Japanese, others for estafa, cybercrime

A COUPLE, who invested some P2.35 million in a business deal that went awry, has filed complaints of estafa and cybercrime law violation against two Japanese and their Filipino associates at the City Prosecutor’s Office, said the Anti-Cybercrime Group-Northern Mindanao (ACG-10).

Also included in the lawsuit filed by the complainants are the manager and new accounts officer of a bank based in Cebu City and officers and directors of a company.

The complainants requested their names be kept confidential.

ACG-10 identified the suspects as Ryo Nagaoka, Koji Watanabe, Rey Luna and others who are known only by their first names: John, Joy, Randy, and Rudy.

ACG-10 said Nagaoka claimed he is the manager of a grain corporation, while Watanabe introduced himself as Nagaoka’s co-employee.

John and Joy allegedly acted as Watanabe’s and Nagaoka’s interpreters, respectively. Luna is an alleged employee of a company based in Malaysia who posed as seller of reportedly fake Lysozyme product, while Rudy was identified as Luna’s manager.

According to online articles, Lysozyme is a “remarkable natural antimicrobial and antiviral enzyme.”

Based on the ACG-10 summary report, on September 1, 2014, the complainants alleged they were swindled of some P2.357 million through a scheme using a cellphone as a mode of communication where they were deceived in the process of acting as middlemen in the buy-and-sell of alleged fake Lysozyme product.

The victims were convinced to buy the product in the amount of P4.6 million (192 boxes at P24,000 per box) from Luna, Randy and Rudy.

The Japanese, ACG-10 said, posed as buyers of said product.

When they saw the samples during a meeting with the complainants, the Japanese allegedly took an interest in the product and wanted the couple to sell it to them (Japanese).

The product was delivered to the victims’ residence “with advice not to open the delivered boxes because opening the boxes would result into diminishing quality of the products and could no longer be used anymore for the intended purpose,” to which the complainants followed.

The husband-complainant then called up the Japanese buyers and agreed that payment will be made as soon as they (buyers) would arrive in Cagayan de Oro since they were in General Santos at that time.

To his surprise, when he opened the boxes, the husband-complainant found the contents to be liver spread, and not Lysozyme. He opened the other boxes and found out these contained the same.

“This time the complainant couple realized they are swindled,” the ACG-10 said.

Because of this, the ACG-10 said the suspects allegedly committed the following crimes: Violation of article 315, paragraph 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for swindling/estafa and section 6 in relation to section 7 of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The RPC article 315, paragraph 2(a) said: “By using fictitious name, of falsely pretending to possess power, influence, qualifications, property, credit, agency, business or imaginary transaction, or by means of other similar deceits.”

RA 10175’s section 6 in relation to section 7 states that: “All crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions of this Act: Provided, [t]hat the penalty to be imposed shall be one degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case may be.”
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