July 10, 2012
A construction worker who duped a businesswoman into buying a bogus gold bar was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation during an entrapment in Zambales yesterday.
The subject is identified as DOMINGO VILLANUEVA SALAZAR, alias "Noel". 42, a foreman, and a resident of Bgy. Salaza, Palauig, Zambales.
Investigation bared that in May 2012, complainant Rosalyn T. Belarga alleged that she met Salazar through a friend who convinced her to pool their finances in order to buy a gold bar from an Aeta which then can be sold for a huge profit. Noel allegedly told them that a gold bar is part of a chest of gold bars unearthed by his father-in-law while making charcoal in the mountains of Zambales.
After samples of gold grains provided by the suspect turned out to be real gold as appraised by a pawnshop, complainant bought one-half of a purported gold bar for P100,000. However, upon presented for appraisal at a pawnshop, said gold bar turned out to be fake. Complainant told Noel about the findings, but Noel asserted that there is really a gold bar and the fake one was inadvertently given to her. He even instructed her to find a financier who can raise P500,000 and the real gold bar would be sold to them.
It was then that the complainant sought investigative assistance from the NBI. Acting on said complaint, an operation was planned. On July 9, 2012, NBI operatives proceeded to a fast food chain in Iba, Zambales. In the afternoon of the same day, Noel called up the complainant and asked her to meet him at the back of the said restaurant where he asked her to go with him to an undisclosed place to pick up the said gold bar. When Noel showed up, and after positive identification by Belarga, NBI agents posted nearby accosted and arrested him. Later, he was brought to the NBI.
Charges for Estafa is being readied against the suspect for filing in the Prosecutor's Office of Iba, Zambales.