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NBI nabs man preying on seamen for extortion

The National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division has arrested a man preying on seamen by demanding money in exchange for the release of Certificates of Proficiency (COP).

NBI Director Dante Gierran said in a statement on Monday Malone Deleon Morales was arrested Friday following an extortion complaint filed by a victim who claimed the suspect demanded P20,000 in exchange for a COP in navigation.

The complainant was told his certificate was pending because he lacks service experience. He was asked to surrender his Regulation II/4 certificate. The matter was then referred to the legal division of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).

Last Dec. 5, the complainant received a call from a certain “Christian” who later turned out to be Morales, telling him that it is easy to have the certificate issued in exchange for the sum of money.

The complainant informed the Marina legal division, which in turn advised him to report the matter to the NBI.

Morales asked the victim to pay the P20,000 up to Dec. 7 and threatened to file a complaint against him if the amount is not delivered, prompting the victim to seek help from the NBI which set up an entrapment operation.#