Dipolog City

Police arrest suspect in Dipolog swindling blitz

Gualberto Laput

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Police arrest suspect in Dipolog swindling blitz

CONFER. Dipolog City acting police chief Colonel Vedasto Dasmarinas III confers with an investigator regarding the arrest of one of the members of a group that allegedly duped many businessmen in Zamboanga del Norte.

Gualberto Laput / Rappler

(UPDATED) Police arrest a suspected swindler after 3 months of surveillance online

DIPOLOG, Philippines – Authorities arrested an alleged member of an all-female group of swindlers that duped more than a dozen businessmen in Dipolog City and Zamboanga del Norte in Trece Martires City in Cavite, police said on Friday, December 2.

The suspect, Jaselle May Agustin alias Juliana May Javier Sales, was brought to Dipolog City on Friday, eight days after she was arrested in Barangay Lallana in Trece Martires City.

Agustin was arrested based on warrants for 11 counts of estafa issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Victoriano Lacaya and carnapping issued by RTC Judge Nestor Angeles in Zamboanga del Norte. 

Her companions Kristina Tan Yasi and Celeste Dee Rama also face the exact charges. 

Dipolog police chief Colonel Vedasto Dasmarinas III said the group established a pseudo-trading company named Feathelite Trading, closed deals with Dipolog City and Zamboanga del Norte businessmen, and ran off with millions of pesos worth of products and at least three cars in less than a month in September.

It was either Agustin or Sales who stood as proprietor of Feathlite Trading with a P1-million declared capital.  

Joven Uy, who runs a Dipolog rent-a-car business, identified Agustin as one of the three suspects who rented but ran off with his Toyota Fortuner.

Inside the police detention cell, Agustin denied all the accusations against her. 

Major Mervin Claret, chief of the police’s Highway Patrol Group in Dipolog, said authorities were able to locate Agustin through three-month surveillance on social media.

“We got her FB (Facebook) account, and we monitored it until we found out where she was through her exchange of messages with her friends. That’s when we sought the help of our fellow policemen in Trece Martires. It was our first cyber battle,” Claret said.

Lieutenant Colonel Alvin Saguban, deputy commander of the Zamboanga del Norte Police Provincial Office, said the arrest was a milestone, “but we don’t celebrate yet because we have just started.”

He said there were still two others to be arrested, and “we are not discounting the possibility that there are other people behind the group.”

Saguban added, “They cannot do what they did if they are just ordinary criminals. They may even have a legal consultant or adviser.” – Rappler.com

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