Four victims filed syndicated estafa charges yesterday before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office against an alleged illegal recruiter who, they claimed, took their money in exchange for working visas.
The charges were filed against Juna Antiojo, 37, of Charito Heights, Brgy. Granada, Bacolod, Station 1 commander, Chief Insp. Levy Pangue said.
Those who filed the charges were identified by Pangue as Russel John Tundag, of Brgy. Mandalagan, Gerald Escala, Ricky Napolez and Syriel Canezares, both of 14th Lacson Street, Brgy. 7, all in Bacolod.
Fifteen victims of Antiojo, who had filed charges for large scale estafa and illegal recruitment at the National Bureau of Investigation this year before her arrest, went to police station 1 for settlement. However the suspect failed to return the P500,000 in cash allegedly taken from the victims.
Pangue said, Antiojo has already victimized 19 persons, 15 of them had filed charges at the NBI and recently the four also filed charges at the prosecutor’s office.
Station 2 case investigator, Police Officer 2 Jared Esquilla said, one of the victims, Escala, asked for police assistance on Tuesday after he sensed something wrong in his transaction with Antiojo who demanded P10,000 for the processing of a working visa to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and for the shipment of the requirements to Manila.
Antiojo was nabbed by policemen in an entrapment operation at a mall at San Juan Street, Brgy. 12 in Bacolod, after Escala, whom she had contacted to meet at the mall, handed her the P10,000 budol money and P500 in marked money.
The DAILY STAR tried to reach Antiojo, however she refused to be interviewed regarding the allegations against her.
As reflected in the improvised acknowledgment receipt the suspect gave to them, the victims had already paid P10,000 since March 13 for the promised working visa to Jeddah by Antiojo, police records showed.
Esquilla said, the victims asked Antiojo for the address of the recruitment agency, but she failed to give details. However, she gave the name of a recruitment agency, but when the victims verified it at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, they found out that it was unregistered.
As to how they were able to have transactions with Antiojo, the victims said that her cousin whose name was not disclosed, facilitated it and told them that the supervisor of a certain “King Faisal Company” in Saudi Arabia was the sibling of Antiojo.
Esquilla said, Antiojo told the victims that the payment should have been P20,000 but instead, they would only pay half of the amount. As for the balance, it will be paid by her sibling, whose name was not disclosed, and who, she said, is the supervisor of the company.*SHIELA G. GELERA