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2 posing as CH exec nabbed for estafa
Marythel Nicolette Niere,34, and Reihan Hunti,32, who introduced himself to authorities as lawyer Farhad Akmad, were apprehended by members of the Regional Intelligence Division-7 Tuesday night.

2 posing as CH exec nabbed for estafa

Iris Hazel Mascardo (The Freeman) - March 4, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Two individuals were arrested in an entrapment operation for allegedly posing as City Hall official and for asking money from contractors of the Cebu City government.

Marythel Nicolette Niere,34, and Reihan Hunti,32, who introduced himself to authorities as lawyer Farhad Akmad, were apprehended by members of the Regional Intelligence Division-7 Tuesday night.

Posing as Cebu City Administrator Atty. Floro Casas, Hunti allegedly called several suppliers and contractors of the city government and asked them large sums of money.

Casas, in a press conference, said the fraudulent act has been going on for months, beginning during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ploy came to his knowledge after several suppliers and contractors paid a visit to Casas at City Hall.

Last Monday, a contractor visited and told Casas that a certain Atty. Farhad Akmad, who also claimed to be from Labella Law Office, contacted the former and asked for P3 million in exchange for some city government projects.

“The contractor went to our office to verify the call. I said there was no such call or arrangement. So we immediately contacted RID again for assistance,” Casas said.

Some contractors, however, fell victim to the scam, he said.

Casas said there were several attempts to entrap the suspects, but was only successful Tuesday.

Hunti was first arrested during the operation. While he was in police custody, Niere reportedly called Hunti asking for her share.

RID then hatched a follow-up operation that resulted in the arrest of Niere.

In a separate press interview, Hunti said Niere offered him the “job” last year. He said it was Niere, an alleged contractor, who told him to use the names Atty. Akmad and Atty. Casas during the transactions.

The job, he said, entails getting the “budget” from City Hall contractors.

"Ang gisulti ni Nicolette sa akoa mao daw kuno gipagamit (name) sa City Hall. Ni -mention sad siya ni Attorney Casas kay di daw ipa-disclose ang real name,” said Hunti.

Hunti said he thought all their transactions were legitimate.

He said the transactions involved an agreement granting the contractor a city-funded project in exchange of a substantial amount of money.

A copy of the undertaking with a forged signature of Casas was showed to the media.

City legal officer Rey Gealon said they will coordinate with the police to check if there are other people behind the modus.

"We are reserving also in kaso nga dunay moabot pa nga mga pangalan kay sa higayon nga moabot ni sila ug lima ang na involved kay we believed that this is a syndicate, so maka file ta og syndicated estafa," he said.

Based on the initial investigation, Gealon said both suspects claimed that they are not operating on their own.

"Posible nga naa silay kaila sa gawas or basin sa sulod pa gani sa Cebu City government," he said.

Police Major Glen Hefe of RID-7 said the case of estafa will be filed against the suspects for violating Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.

Hunti will also face additional charges for usurpation of authority and falsification of public documents. — KQD (FREEMAN)

ESTAFA
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