Con artist nabbed for swindling P8 M from Sotto's wife
- Sandy Araneta () - May 25, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A woman who allegedly swindled Sen. Vicente Sotto III’s wife, actress Helen Gamboa, of P8 million worth of jewelry was arrested Wednesday night by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

NBI officer-in-charge Nonnatus Caesar Rojas said Francesca Lim Santiago, 40, was caught at her house on Zobel street in BF Homes, Parañaque City. He said agents have launched a manhunt for Santiago’s husband, Benjamin Lacson Santiago, who went into hiding.

According to an investigation done by the NBI’s Reaction, Arrest and Interdiction Division, led by Ross Jonathan Galicia, the Santiagos would befriend a prospective victim – one they know has expensive jewelry – then convince the victim to sell them the jewelry. The first few purchases would be covered by good checks, then the suspects would issue bouncing checks for subsequent purchases.

Galicia said Gamboa asked help from the NBI after Francesca defrauded her of P8 million in jewelry. Gamboa said Francesca issued P4.5 million worth of checks that bounced.

The Santiagos have allegedly been swindling people since 2006. Another person who went to the NBI to file a complaint is celebrity stylist Eric Pe Benito, Galicia said.

He called on those reportedly swindled by the couple to press charges.

ARREST AND INTERDICTION DIVISION BENJAMIN LACSON SANTIAGO ERIC PE BENITO FRANCESCA FRANCESCA LIM SANTIAGO GALICIA GAMBOA HELEN GAMBOA NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NONNATUS CAESAR ROJAS ROSS JONATHAN GALICIA
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