(Metro News) NBI files charges vs three persons involved in making and selling counterfeit money

July 10, 2010 10:32 pm 

MANILA, July 10 –The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed charges of illegal possession of forged currency bills against a man who claimed to be a former man of the late President Ferdinand Marcos and two others.

Outgoing NBI Director lawyer Nestor Mantaring identified the suspects as Diomedes Lugtu, alias “Apo” and “Wonder Boy,” of Portrero, Malabon; Arlene Amorin of Binan, Laguna; and Franco Roque of Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City.

Charges of violation of Articles 166 (forging treasury or bank notes or other documents payable to bearer, and uttering false or forged notes and documents) and 168 (illegal possession and use of false treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit) of the Revised Penal Code were filed against them at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

A report submitted by Agent Rosauro Bautista, of the NBI-Office of the Deputy Director for Intelligence Services, showed that the NBI conducted an operation recently following reports that the three workers were allegedly engaged in selling machines and material allegedly used in the making counterfeit currency bills.

The NBI poseur-buyer managed to close a deal with the group for the purchase of the machines and materials supposedly used for the production of counterfeit currency bills.

The NBI assets assured the three that he would bring P14 million as total payment for the machines and materials.

The group’s members also brought with them the materials as agreed, including a bundle of counterfeit 10,000 Japanese Yen and some US dollar bills to show proof of their capability to manufacture fake money.

The NBI raiding team failed to establish if at the time of the operation, the workers found in the warehouse were actually printing counterfeit money.

“The owner of the place did not allow us to conduct inspection of the area. So we really don’t know if at that time, the group was making fake bills,” said the NBI official.

The suspects were then brought to the NBI headquarters for investigation. Seized from them were the alleged security papers, chemicals and several counterfeit bills aside from the fake US dollars and Japanese yens.

They were charged but were eventually released after posting bail of P54,000 each, Bautista said.

A certification issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that except for the two pieces of US dollar notes, all the other bills found in the possession of the suspects were fake.

Bautista said the group claimed that they used security papers in manufacturing fake money. They said the security papers were remnants of those used by the Central Bank of the Philippines during the Marcos regime.

Lugtu claimed that he was closely related to the late dictator.

In an interview, Bautista said Lugtu had bragged that he was the one who showed or pinpointed to Marcos were some of the gold or precious metals were hidden.

Lugtu even surrendered to the NBI photos taken where some of the precious metals dug up by Marcos’ men were taken.

Bautista said Lugtu had told the NBI where and how he got knowledge of the information about the precious metals, including some of the gold acquired by Marcos.

Bautista, however, said they were still verifying the veracity of all the information they gathered from Lugtu. (PNA) RMA/JES

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