Jailed Nigerian served another estafa warrant

Jailed alien faces new estafa raps.

A NIGERIAN national found himself facing more criminal charges after his previous scam victims recognized him while already being held at the Bacoor City police lock-up facility in Cavite, the head of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group said yesterday.

PNP-CIDG director, Major General Joel Napoleon M. Coronel said on Wednesday evening, his men served another warrant of arrest for estafa against Kelechi Christian Ukpabi alias ‘Luciano Lee/Frank Harry.’

Members of the CIDG Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit led the service of the warrant of arrest issued against the African by Judge Alexander Tamayo of the Malolos City Regional Trial Court Branch 15.

Coronel described the 37-year-old Ukpabi as  a known member of the “Love Scam/Parcel Scam/Black Dollar Syndicate” operating in various parts of the country who was previously arrested by CIDG-AFCCU operatives in an entrapment operation on February 7, 2018.

The arrest was made following a complaint from one Zainudin Nanding Ali.

Coronel said that when the arrest was shown on national television, another complainant identified as Gaudencio Diam, a 72-year-old retired Overseas Filipino Worker recognized the African as the same man who defrauded him of more than P4 million.

The PNP-CIDG director said their investigation showed that the suspect befriended Diam thru  Facebook where he introduced himself as ‘Lieutenant Stephanie Jones,’ a United States Army officer assigned in Afghanistan.

The complainant said he developed an online relationship with ‘Lt. Jones’ who later conned him into releasing a huge amount of cash in exchange for a parcel she allegedly sent him

Diam said he initially transferred a total of P1,576,450.00 to the suspect under the Banco de Oro account of one Irene Estrellanes. Diam said he was duped by the suspect into believing that an expert in cleansing marked U.S. dollars will be with him.

During their meeting, Ukpabi, using the name ‘Luciano Lee’ brought a traveling bag containing a metal vault which he claimed was containing stacks of marked dollars. The African later took two $100 bills from the vault and ‘cleansed’ it with the use of a chemical.

Convinced that the stock is limited, Diam gave more money to the African to buy more cleansing chemical. The suspect also left his traveling bag containing the vault to the complainant in order to gain his trust.

He eventually disappeared after defrauding the complainant of more than P4 million.