It was heaven first followed by a hellish experience.
This incident was suffered by a Chinese worker here whose excitement to finally meet his “dream girl” nearly cost his life.
The “woman” whom he met through a dating app was his biggest nightmare as “she” turned out to be a member of a “gay macho syndicate” using dating apps as part of its kidnap-for-ransom activities, according to police.
Nine members of the kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group were arrested in Las Pinas City following the release of the victim.
Police Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, director of the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the Chinese victim was not only beaten up but also lost P12,000 cash he was supposed to spend on his first date and another P500,000 from his family who paid the money in exchange for his release.
Estomo said it all started through Tan Tan dating app where the victim met the supposed beautiful Filipina. The latter finally agreed to meet him in General Mariano Alvarez in Cavite.
“With the motivation to see a beautiful lady, the victim agreed to meet at the given place. But he has no idea that he was already targeted as victim for kidnap-for-ransom activity,” said Estomo.
He added that the pretty woman that the victim saw in the dating app is not a real woman but a member of the KFR group.
At their meeting, the Chinese, according to Col. Villaflor Bannawagan, director of the AKG- Luzon Field Unit, was forced to board a vehicle where he was blindfolded and hogtied. He was later taken to the suspects’ hideout.
“While in captivity, these delinquent men assaulted the victim and took possession of his pocket money of P12,000. The victim was also forced to ask from his relatives in China an additional P500,000 to his account,” said Bannawagan.
The official said the victim was released at around 4 a.m. on March 18 after his family paid the ransom demand.
“Medical records show that the victim suffered four broken ribs,” said Bannawagan.
Estomo said nine suspects were apprehended during a follow-up operation at Eco Trend Villas in Las Piñas City.
They were identified as Anfernee Joshua Casil, Jomari Pamaranglas, Vicent Karl Suero, Ewald Tacalan, Disney Camacho, Kevin Mark Castillo, Joenel Roselio, Jaypee Roselio, and Ostin Callejo.
They are facing a string of criminal charges that include kidnapping with ransom and with serious illegal detention.