3 men nabbed for selling fake uranium
- Sandy Araneta () - March 7, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Three men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly duping an American woman of P600,000 in exchange for a box of what they claimed to be a uranium sample lost during World War II.

In a statement issued yesterday, NBI Director Nestor Mantaring said Atilano Mirasol, 48, and his cousins Ricky Mirasol and Jesus Napolis, are detained at the NBI jail and have been charged with estafa before the Manila City prosecutor’s office.

NBI intelligence service chief Ricardo Diaz said an investigation conducted by the Field Operations Division (FOD), headed by Roland Argabioso, showed that last December, Mirasol showed American national Elizabeth Hadley a picture of a metal box he claimed contained a sample of Uranium-235, an isotope of the radioactive metal.

Mirasol allegedly said the box was lost during World War II by the United States Air Force in a plane crash somewhere in Cagayan de Oro province.

He reportedly told Hadley that the US government would give $1 billion for the sample. Atilano told her that he needed P600,000 to pay security guards securing the sample.

Hadley paid the amount in exchange for a video and photographs of the box, which she sent to her husband abroad. She received a reply telling her it was a hoax.

Hadley also learned that Atilano also duped her friends.

Last Feb. 7, Atilano called up Hadley again, saying he was selling gold bars dug up from the mountains of Rizal province for P2 million.

Hadley refused his offer, but Atilano gave her another choice: P2 million for the uranium sample.

Atilano told the victim to meet him at the parking area in front of the Manila Hotel Wednesday. Hadley then sought NBI assistance.

The NBI agents arrested Mirasol and his cousins when Hadley handed Mirasol an envelope containing marked money.

FOD agent Dante Berou said they suspect the metal box may have been filled with cement to make it heavy, but NBI metallurgical experts are still testing its contents.

ATILANO ATILANO MIRASOL DANTE BEROU DIRECTOR NESTOR MANTARING ELIZABETH HADLEY FIELD OPERATIONS DIVISION HADLEY LAST FEB MANILA CITY MIRASOL WORLD WAR
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