MANILA, Philippines – A man posing as a mayor from Masbate province has been arrested for luring people into coughing up millions of pesos by claiming close ties to President Rodrigo Duterte and other ranking government officials.
Lino Espinosa Lim Jr., who claimed to be the chief executive of Uson, Masbate, was presented by the National Bureau of Investigation on Monday.
NBI deputy director Ferdinand Lavin said Lim, against whom warrants of arrest had been issued by trial courts in Mandaluyong and Parañaque cities for a string of estafa (fraud) cases, was arrested Friday by the agency’s Special Action Unit at a coffee shop in Quezon City.
He had been eluding attempts to entrap him for a month following the complaint of his latest victim who he duped of P14.5 million, the NBI said.
Lavin said Lim would convince his victims by saying he was close to, among others, Duterte, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, and lawyer Fred Lim of the Philippine Gaming Corporation. At times he also posed as a casino junket operator.
Lim would ask his victims, among them South Koreans, to invest in supposed schemes that would earn them as much as 20 percent monthly. But when they asked him about their investments later, he would make excuses and eventually could no longer be contacted.
Lavin urged other victims of Lim to come forward and file complaints against him.
He said three other victims have appeared before the NBI and said they lost a total of P10 million.
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