Airport police arrests “package” scammer

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Are you having an online lover? Careful!

Manila airport authorities Thursday arrested a scammer victimizing a Filipina online friend by promising her valuables and gifts.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal on Saturday revealed the arrest of Miriam Kanoute, a Mali national residing in Makati City,  after a certain Shirley Campones sought assistance of the airport police, when her “online friend” and his cahoot was about to victimize her through a “package padala scam.”

Monreal revealed that Campones’ “online foreigner friend,” a certain Fred MC Neil, promised to come over to the country and bring her valuables on April 12.

But while she was at the airport, MC Neil messaged that something went wrong at Turkey airport where he was held by customs officials at the airport due to the pieces of jewelries in his baggage.

Few minutes later, Campones received a message from Kanoute asking her for a meet-up at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The 34-year old Kanoute asked Campones to meet her at a restaurant in NAIA on April 12 to get the package and advised her to bring USD 11,000 in exchange for it.

Campones then suspected a scam was in the offing and sought the help of the airport police who positioned themselves inside the restaurant on the day of the meet up.

When Campones handed the envelop containing the money to Kanoute, airport police immediately arrested her.

It turned out that the bag which Kanoute turned over to Campones was empty. She also recalled, meeting Kanoute and another foreigner identified as Ronald Morri, as they discussed about the package of MC Neil.

“The suspect is still under APD’s custody and will soon be brought to the Pasay City Jail,” Ma. Consuelo Bungag, MIAA Public Affairs Department’s officer-in-charge, told PNA on Saturday.

She added that inquest proceedings were already done at the Pasay Prosecutor’s Office and that some procedures are yet to be taken.

The “package padala scam” is similar to the “internet love scam.” Here, the target victim is supposed to receive a package, usually from a foreigner or someone the person just met online. In this scam, the target victim is asked to give money to a messenger to get the package, usually for payment of Custom’s duties and taxes.-ezc/with report from PNA

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