Combined agents of the Bureau of Customs and National Bureau of Investigation arrested two fake Customs officers for extorting money in an entrapment operation at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Customs Commissioner Rey Lonardo Guerrero said the bureau received a complaint on the alleged extortion activities of two suspects who demanded half a million pesos in exchange for the release of the shipments consigned to Shaka Guns and Ammo being held at NAIA.
The customs intelligence group coordinated with the NBI Special Action Unit after the suspects agreed to meet with the complainants at a restaurant in Quezon City where payment will be made.
The suspects, identified as Atty. Roberto Geotina and Nancy Nuguid, had introduced themselves as Customs officials, were arrested after accepting the marked money.
Announcement of the arrest emerged as the Bureau of Customs urged the public to be wary of unscrupulous individuals posing as Customs agents to extort money from importers.
“We will not tolerate extortion and all forms of corruption in the bureau,” said Guerrero.
“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,” he added.
Guerrero said last Monday, his office received a complaint about the alleged extortion activities of two persons who identified themselves as Customs personnel.
The two, based on the complaint, demanded half a million pesos purportedly in exchange of the release of the shipments consigned to Shaka Guns and Ammo now in the custody of the bureau’s office at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.
The bureau’s Intelligence Group coordinated with the NBI-SAU office and set the entrapment at a restaurant in Quezon City that resulted in the arrest of the suspects.
“The complainants, together with undercover authorities, met with the suspects where the two alleged extortionists were arrested after they accepted the marked money,” said Guerrero.
“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 Customs chief added.
Initial investigation showed that the two suspects were not Customs officers but unscrupulous brokers engaged in extortion activities victimizing Customs stakeholders.
Lawyer Emeterio Dongallo, Jr., NBI-SAU chief, said their investigation would continue to identify, apprehend and prosecute other personalities who may have participated in the alleged extortion.
Dongallo added that an estafa case would be filed against the two arrested suspects before the Department of Justice.
According to NBI SAU chief Atty. Emeterio Dongallo Jr., the suspects may have connections with legitimate customs officials and have participated in the alleged extortion.
“We will not tolerate extortion and all forms of corruption in the Bureau,” 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.”