Philippines: 3 foreigners arrested for wash wash scam


Staff member


AUTHORITIES arrested three foreigners allegedly involved in the “black dollar” scheme, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde said Monday, May 28.

Aroon James, 44, from Puerto Rico; Brown Akwe Fonboh, 43, from United States; and Gum Blanche Murphy, 28, from Angola were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) National Capital Region Field office on Friday, May 25, in the vicinity of Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

They will be facing charges of syndicated estafa, swindling, assault upon agent of persons in authority and resistance and disobedience.

Albayalde said a Chinese national complained that on May 14, he gave the suspects a total of P250,000 after they convinced him that they could transform the Philippine bills into US dollar bills by applying certain chemicals.

"Hindi ito palitan na bibili ka ng ano tapos bebenta ng fake dollar. Bago ito, itong liquid gear, supposed to be ikakaskas mo sa pera tapos yung pera mo magiging dollar,” Albayalde said.

(This does not involve currency trading. This is a new scam, wherein some liquid is applied on the bill to transform it into a US dollar bill.)

“Let us warn the public here, itong liquid na to mabilis ang kamay nito. papakita niya na ikakaskas niya pero may nakaipit na pera, parang magikero ito," Albayalde said.

Albayalde said on May 23, the suspects again asked for P5 million from the Chinese national with a promise that they will produce $100,000 which prompted him to seek assistance from the authorities.

CIDG chief Director Roel Obusan said the suspects tried to resist arrest which resulted in the injury of several police personnel and led to a chase.

He said the suspects also tried to throw away their swindling paraphernalia which was later on recovered by the operatives.

Seized from the suspects were P5 million worth of ultraviolet powder dusted entrapment money, four plastic bottles containing a white chemical, 52 pieces of suspected fake 100 US dollar bills and several pieces of torn 100 US dollar bills which are also suspected to be fake.

Obusan said they were coordinating with the US, Angola and Puerto Rico embassies in the Philippines to determine the real identities of the suspects.

"Even the names hindi pa kami sure kaya we are really looking at dahil ang nakuha lang sa kanila ID, hindi naman dapat nagdadala ng ID ang isang foreigner, dapat passport, wala silang passport meaning alam na nila yung kanilang ginagawa," he said.

(We got only their IDs. Foreigners are supposed to have their passports with them. But they do not have passports.)

Albayalde said the recovered chemicals will undergo laboratory examination to identify its contents. (SunStar Philippines)