The leader and several members of a syndicate allegedly engaged in the selling of fake gold and palladium bars were arrested in Santiago City, Isabela province on Sunday.
Arrested were alleged leader Rico Callueng, 56 years old, of Cagayan; along with his supposed cohorts Apolinario Basanes, 55; Rodolfo Pascua, 66; Jayson Pascual, 30; Angel Lacson, 49; Edelina Patio, 50; and Arnold Villasis, 42.
The suspects were nabbed during an entrapment operation at NC Parking Lot in the village of Villasis. They were arrested after a certain Felido Bautista complained that the group allegedly sold him a fake palladium bar worth PHP10,000,000 (US$208,000), which later turned out to be fake.
The syndicate allegedly asked the victim for an initial payment of PHP1.5 million (US$31,174). They were nabbed at the parking lot where they asked for the full payment of PHP10,000,000.
Seized from the gang were an Isuzu MUX, a white Mitsubishi Strada, gray Mitsubishi Montero Sports, fake money, and two real PHP1,000 (US$21) bills. Cops also confiscated a gun, bullets, two cellphones, and two bars of fake palladium weighing 217 kilos each from the suspects.
They will be charged with swindling and robbery-extortion.
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