The National Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the syndicate behind the Laglag Bala scam which preys mainly on the elderly and departing OFWs involving various government personnel. Initial findings by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation reveal that some porters identify potential victims of the “tanim-bala” scam and accomplices in the security and immigration services take over from them inside the four terminals of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
An NBI agent who was part of the investigation team said “Each unit has an assigned task and roles, its members are recruited by longtime workers in the four airport terminals.” NBI said.
“Apart from the now very known bullet-planting extortion, the racket also covers supposed questionable documents and purpose of travel of the passenger,” he said.
The syndicate is composed of various airport workers such as immigration personnel, airport police, X-ray scanners, baggage inspectors and porters, the source said.
The activities of the syndicate came to light last month when Gloria Ortinez, 56, a domestic helper in Hong Kong for 26 years, was arrested, detained and charged with carrying bullets in her luggage, despite her tearful denials. Her plight was caught by TV news cameras and went viral on social media.
“The usual targets are OFWs who are easily duped and the elderly who easily get nervous,” he said. “The group had a profile of their victims who they see as gullible and could easily be bullied.”
The NBI will release next week the findings of their investigation and administrative and criminal charges will be filled against the erring personnel and individuals connected to the bullet scam.
Photo Credit: The Maharlikan