Fake firefighter arrested for extortion in Quezon City

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has warned the public against fake firefighters following the arrest in Quezon City of a man who allegedly extorted money from businessmen in exchange for a fake fire safety inspection certificate.

Manuelito Santos, 34, was arrested in an operation by BFP QC and QC Police Station 3 in Barangay Talipapa on Friday.

His alleged accomplice Melvin Quezada, 45, was also arrested.

The owner of a Korean supermarket reported to BFP that the suspect demanded P5,000 from them for a sudden inspection.

This is to refill their fire extinguisher and give them a fire safety inspection certificate.

The suspect identified himself as FO1 Eric Arulfo and was wearing an orange uniform and carrying another ID.

According to Fire Insp. Rowelle Yarcia, chief of the investigation and intelligence branch of the QCFire District, since April they have received complaints from establishments victimized by fake firefighters threatening penalties when violations of the fire code are found.

Newly opened shops or that do not yet have permits or those with expired fire extinguishers are often targeted.

The suspect provides only a scanned copy of the fire safety inspection certificate.

The BFP has already recorded 10 similar incidents.

They have already undergone inquest proceedings for charges of robbery extortion, usurpation of authority, falsification of documents, and use of motorcycles in the commission of crimes.

Also read: Snake caused brownout in a barangay in Cotabato

Fake firefighter arrested for extortion in Quezon City

BFP interacts with other victims.

BFP clarified that they do not refill fire extinguishers.

They added that there is an application before they can be inspected by BFP.

Fire inspectors always contact the owner of the establishment before going to the place and it carries an inspection order.

If a violation is found, the owner will first be issued a notice to comply and given the opportunity to fix the violation.

Also make sure the ID, inspection order, and uniform of the goer are legitimate. And If in doubt, please contact the BFP office.

Visit our Facebook page for more news updates.