KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 08 July) — Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Region 12 arrested in an entrapment operation in General Santos City a businesswoman believed to be involved in large-scale illegal recruitment.
Superintendent Elmer Guevarra, officer-in-charge of CIDG-12, identified the suspect as Sandra Berenguel, also known as Leslie Malinao, of General Santos City.
The arrest came after two of Berenguel’s recruits went to the CIDG 12 office in General Santos City to check on the suspect’s alleged criminal records.
Guevarra said Berenguel was found “clean” as there is no case filed against her. “No pending warrant of arrest, whatsoever, thus, she is clean.”
The complainants, however, insisted the suspect was engaged in illegal recruitment and that they were among her victims. They said Berenguel, on several occasions, had asked them cash payment in exchange for alleged high-paying jobs in Japan.
“In fact, the money they paid to Berenguel was not enough. The suspect, they said, was asking for more,” said Guevarra.
This drove Guevarra’s office to conduct an entrapment operation against the suspect.
On Friday at around 3 p.m., Guevarra said the complainants met with Berenguel in one of the restaurants inside a mall in General Santos City while his men were just around the corner.
When cash was handed over to the suspect inside the mall, policemen immediately arrested and brought her to the CIDG 12 office where she was placed under their custody.
Guevarra said the complainants are bent on filing charges against Berenguel.
He said the CIDG found out that the suspect was not just doing illegal recruitment in General Santos City but also in areas like Davao City, Davao del Sur, and other parts of Mindanao.
“We are made to believe her activity is large-scale since she operates in Central Mindanao and Southern Mindanao regions,” Guevarra said.
Charges of large-scale estafa would be filed against Berenguel, he said. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)