More victims of alleged Fernandez Swindling Group show up at Talisay City Police
CEBU CITY, Philippines –More victims of the alleged notorious Fernandez Swindling Group have appeared at the Talisay Police Station after a couple was arrested by authorities last April 15, in Barangay Binongkalan, Catmon town in northern Cebu.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Randy Caballes, chief of Talisay City Police Station, said that they were set to file formal complaints of swindling and estafa against the arrested couple, Velbeth Fernandez, 44, and Warren Fernandez, 50, on Monday, April 18, 2022.
Caballes further said that they were also set to file the same complaints against the at-large cohorts, Dyna Tampus Fernandez, Christopher Ocañada, and Floreda Fernandez, on the same day.
Police continue to locate the whereabouts of these at-large individuals.
Recently, Caballes said that the Fernandez Swindling Group was family-driven and had been operating for around 15 years nationwide.
According to Caballes, this group was allegedly started by a certain Victoria Fernandez, sister of Warren.
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Caballes said that right after the two were arrested, at least five complainants from neighboring towns appeared at their station to report that they were victimized in the same method.
“Nanawagan lang ko nga if naay nabiktima with the same modus pwede ra sila muadto sa Talisay City Police Station, i-verify nato ang mga nawong,” Caballes said.
(I am calling if there are those victimized with the same method, they can go to the Talisay City Police Station, we will verify their faces [of those who victimized them].)
READ: 2 notorious swindlers arrested on Good Friday in Catmon
Right after receiving reports from two victims on April 14, Talisay in coordination with the Catmon police conducted a hot pursuit operation, which resulted to the arrest of the two.
Velbeth, for her part, also disclosed their modus operandi to the media last Friday, April 15, adding that the illegal activity had been very addictive as this was also a way to earn fast buck. She, however, expressed remorse over what she and her partner did.
Nikki (not her real name), a victim, also disclosed her experience of the incident.
Caballes said that Velbeth was arrested a couple of times before for the same offense. She was arrested last 2016 in Bukidnon. She was also arrested in Capiz (2017), Isabela (2018), and Mandaue City (2018). Her latest arrest was in Liloan town in Cebu in 2021.
When asked by the police why they still victimize individuals over the same modus, Velbeth told the police that the people’s interest to earn money made them keep going.
In line with this, Caballes further appealed to the public to be cautious in entertaining this kind of interaction with strangers as the modus had been disclosed already.
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