An employee of the Caloocan local government was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) right inside the city hall for alleged extortion.
In the entrapment, agents of the NBI Anti-Organized and Transnational Crimes Division pretended to be business partners.
Later, they arrested employee Vincent Noveno inside the Business Permits and Licensing Office, where he allegedly accepted the P350,000 check.
“Hindi ko nga alam bakit inabot niya sa akin ang tseke,” said Noveno when he was arrested.
(I did not know why he handed me a check.)
According to the businessman victim, as of February 6, the assessment of his renewal has been completed and he has already paid for the permit but the city hall has not yet released it.
The suspect first demanded P500,000 to release the permit. But the victim bargained for it.
Caloocan City Hall employee arrested for extortion
“Sabi niya sa akin bakit hindi ako tumutupad sa usapan. Sabi ko, bakit kasi ang laki. Hindi ko kaya at kung puwede ko ba makausap ang boss niya. Ang sabi niya siya na raw ang boss doon,” said the victim.
(He told me why I was not keeping up with the agreement. I said, why is it costly. I can’t and I asked if I can talk to his boss. He said he was the boss there.)
He said it was the third time that Noveno asked for money from him for his business’ renewal of the permit.
“At first, he asked for P700,000, next year P500,000, then now P500,000 again. I said no more. My business has failed due to the pandemic and he will do the same to me. They should be reviving businesses but they are killing them,” the victim said in Filipino.
Noveno was charged with robbery extortion. The NBI is also looking into whether anyone is protecting or benefiting from the suspect’s activity.
The NBI, on the other hand, encourages other businessmen who may also be victims of the said suspect, to file a complaint.