Airport authorities nab notorious swindler

MANILA Airport police officers apprehended a notorious swindler in a manhunt operation at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.

The manhunt operation was conducted Tuesday afternoon after female victim complained of being duped on Sept. 23, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) Intelligence and Investigation Division Inspector Erick Mejia told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednsday.

Police said suspect Joseph Pascasio had already been jailed several times for victimizing passengers at the NAIA Terminal 3.

In their joint affidavit, the police officers said Pascasio introduced himself as an immigration official to a female passenger bound for Dubai.

Pascasio asked for the passenger's passport, PHP500 cash, and told her that someone from a travel agency would assist her.

Moments later, the passenger tried to call Pascasio, and she was asked to deposit PHP3,000 through a money remittance center so she could retrieve her passport.

Unable to deposit the money, the passenger was not able to board her flight. She claimed that Pascasio still tried to ask for money in exchange for her passport. This prompted her to report the incident to the Airport Police Department.

Police officers Ferdinand Mandanas, Edwin Mapile, Nino Calma, and Jericho Patriarca saw Pascasio and immediately arrested him.

"We called the female passenger, and she positively identified the suspect," they said in the joint affidavit.

Authorities were able to retrieve the passenger's passport. They also found methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) in his bag.

Pascasio will be charged with theft, drug possession, and usurpation, authorities said.

Mejia said he already arrested Pascasio in 2016, along with other suspected members of a "salisi gang."

"I was the head of the NAIA Special Task Group at that time. We were able to apprehend them in Bulacan," he said.

Mejia added that Pascasio pleaded guilty before the Pasay Metropolitan Trial Court and convicted for more than a year. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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