A man who allegedly swindled four people including a lawyer and a barangay captain of P420,000 remains at large more than a year after the suspect made the fraudulent transaction with the victims as part of a suspected nationwide illegal operation.
The victims, all residents of Brgy. Taug, Valencia, Bohol, made two deposits of P250,000 and P170,000 in 2015 for the supposed purchase of an Elf truck and a mini dump truck but have lost contact with the suspect since then.
Josue Tagud, Nenita Besas, Ramil Tagato, barangay captain of said village, and a lawyer, who requested anonymity, said that after a single personal meeting with the suspect, all communications were made through cellphone.
On Tuesday, the lawyer victim personally reported the incident to Tagbilaran City police months after the last correspondence with the suspect.
According to Tagud, the suspect identified himself as Mark Joseph Padilla who had offered to sell vehicles at cheap prices when they first met him in Panglao in 2015 through the victim lawyer.
Tagud said that the suspect, who claimed to be based in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, promised to deliver the dump truck in good condition as he requested for advance payment.
The victims have also asked help from police in Sta. Rosa in apprehending Padilla who reportedly claimed to be a resident of Block 31, Lot 21 of San Lorenzo Village Sta. Rosa Laguna,
For his part, Tagbilaran City police chief Supt. Nicomedes Olaivar said that they are also coordinating with cops in Laguna for possible filing of charges against the suspect and the alleged swindler’sÂ apprehension.
Olaivar said that Tagud and his associates are not the only victims of the suspect in Bohol.
Based on initial police investigation, the city police chief noted that the suspect amassed around P3 million through illegal operations conducted in Bohol, around P500,000 in Cebu and P1 million in Laguna.Â (Allen Doydora)