Iloilo raid yields P.4 M in fake bills
- Leo Solinap () - July 11, 2004 - 12:00am
ILOILO CITY — Joint elements of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) raided what is believed to be a "satellite factory" of a counterfeiting syndicate in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo last Thursday, seizing P425,600 in fake bills of different denominations.

Authorities said the NBI-BSP team, in coordination with the local police, swooped down on a house just 200 meters away from the residence of Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas and caught the suspects in the act of printing fake peso bills using a computer.

Those arrested were identified as Eduardo Pedrajas, 50; Nardencio Escudero, 43; Patric Cabillar, 24; Roger Joseph Salem, 26; Evalyn Gallofin, who owns the house; and two sons of Gallofin, both minors. They are now detained at the Iloilo Rehabilitation Center.

Seized from them were counterfeit P500, P200 and P100 bills worth P176,000, P151,200 and P98,400, respectively, as well as computer equipment used in printing the fake peso bills.

Rufino Atienza Jr., a BSP executive, said this is the first time that such a factory of counterfeit peso bills was raided in Western Visayas (Region 6).

Authorities said the suspects had rented a floor in Gallofin’s house for its counterfeiting operations for about three weeks prior to the raid.

A reporter of Aksyon Radyo, who witnessed the raid, said the fake peso bills, unless scrutinized, could be passed off as real legal tender.

The raid, led by lawyer Ronald Aguto of the NBI’s Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division, resulted from a tip-off about the syndicate’s operations.

The NBI and BSP had reportedly tailed Pedrajas after he posted bail for a counterfeiting case in Valenzuela City last May.

Charges have been filed against the suspects with the Iloilo prosecutor’s office.

AKSYON RADYO ANTI-FRAUD AND COMPUTER CRIMES DIVISION BANGKO SENTRAL BAROTAC VIEJO EDUARDO PEDRAJAS EVALYN GALLOFIN GALLOFIN ILOILO ILOILO GOV ILOILO REHABILITATION CENTER NARDENCIO ESCUDERO
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