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PRESS RELEASE NO. 090/17

DATE: FEBRUARY 22, 2017

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is warning the public against money transfer using the name of the Agency to collect money for clearance purposes.

PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña issued the public advisory amid a report about spurious electronic mails allegedly originating from Lapeña himself asking for a sum of P14,900 in exchange for anti-drug clearance fee.

The potential victim came to PDEA Regional Office 12 in General Santos City to verify the validity of a series of electronic mails he received from the Director General requesting him to deposit P14,900 to an undisclosed bank or transfer the same through an international money transfer service, to the account of a certain ‘Precious Marjon R. Aninipot’, of Andrews Avenue, Pasay City.

“Prior to the complaint, the potential victim has received a notice from a foreign remittance officer of Central Bank of Syria informing him that 2 million US dollars have been successfully transferred to his bank account in the form of inheritance fund,” Lapeña said.

However, the catch is that the PDEA supposedly knew all about the money by suspending its transfer. The failure to pay the clearance fee will mean that he would likely be arrested as a suspected drug personality and money launderer.

“We are not, in any way, engaged in collecting drug clearance fees. Do not be fooled. It is a classic example of an online scam that the public should be made aware of. Cyber criminals tried to defraud victims by riding the crest of the intensified national anti-drug campaign,” the PDEA chief said.

The PDEA advises the public to immediately report any fraud or scam carried out through the internet using the name of the Agency. Complaints may be relayed by texting PDEA 24/7 Hotlines: 09998887332, 09255737332 and 09279150616 or call PDEA Hotlines: (02) 920-0735 and (02) 920-0736.

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