On Wednesday, June 15, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation Cebu Division Office (NBI CEBDO) in Philippines arrested four Nigerian citizens for allegedly fabricating government IDs and other papers for use in internet frauds, according to authorities.
The NBI agents apprehended the four suspects at a residence in a subdivision in Barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City, after 3 p.m. on Monday, June 13, 2022.
Augustine Onyekachi Nkowachi, Tosen Samuel Oguntoye, Chubuike Joseph Nwokoro, and Christopher Okeke were identified as the suspects.
The four will be charged with various counts of document fabrication.
The operation was conducted when the girlfriend of one of the suspects contacted the office, alleging that she had been convinced by the suspects to participate in the creation of fraudulent identity in her name.
She was forced by the suspects to register multiple bank accounts that will be used to assist transactions related to an online scam after they provided her with fake identification.
According to the NBI-CEBDO, the suspects began their operation in April 2022, but banks have not yet issued them ATM cards, said Agent Atty. Nio Rodriguez.
“If it’s not a hoax, they won’t make a deposit because there’s no ATM, so they’ll just take the money.” “According to the complainant, there was a period when she had to phone someone and inform them that money had been deposited into her account, but she had to pay before she could withdraw that money,” said Rodriguez.
According to the investigation, the girlfriend’s fake IDs were printed somewhere in Colon, Cebu City.
Rodriguez stated that this was not the first time that ID forgery was an issue in Colon. He stated that police actions have already been undertaken there.
A number of phony official IDs, including BIR, Philhealth, NBI clearances, LTO driver’s licenses, Philpost IDs, PRC IDs, and corporate IDs, were confiscated by the agents.
Several images on the confiscated false IDs were of Filipinos, but the names and other information were fabricated.
“I’m sure they met on online dating sites, and after they had the trust of Filipina, they asked them to open bank accounts using their images but not their names,” Rodriguez said.
Agent-in-charge Arnel Pura stated that they will coordinate with the Nigerian embassy in Manila to determine the suspects’ histories.
“Our assumption is that they are all undocumented aliens, as none of them have passports; this is one of the aspects atoang i-establish, nature of their stay in the nation, and whether or not they chose to be there,” added Pura.