A CAMEROONIAN national who has gained notoriety for his involvement in the so-called ‘Black Dollar’ scheme was arrested this week by agents of the National Capital Region Office of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group during an entrapment operation in Makati City, CIDG-NCR chief, Colonel Arnold Thomas C. Ibay told the People’s Tonight.
The official said that Robert Roger Foussi, a 42-year old resident of no. 84 Corona Street, Mandaluyong City became the latest citizen of the Central African country to be arrested and jailed for engaging in the fraudulent scheme.
The ‘Black Dollar’ scheme is mostly being perpetrated by Cameroonian nationals in the country who entice victims they could clean U.S. dollar bills that have been dyed with an almost ‘unwashable ink’ to avoid detection.
The con artists are known to have gypped dozens of victims in the past after making them believe that the bundles of dyed U.S. dollars in their possession can be turned into legal tender by just applying chemicals that will remove the dye. The victims are made to buy the chemicals and the dollars for millions.
In most cases, the victims are told the amount being showed to them will be tripled once the dyed dollar bills have been cleaned. Unknown to the victims, the dyed dollar bills being shown to them are genuine dollars while the rest are counterfeit.
Ibay said that Fousi was arrested during a sting inside Unit 15-Q of Tower 1, Paseo de Rocer Condominium along Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City 2 p.m. Tuesday by CIDG-NCR operatives led by Major Bryan Dexter Andulan and a team of operatives from the NCR Police Office Regional Intelligence Division led by Captain Narrolf Tan.
The suspect will be facing charges for violation of Articles 315 (estafa) and 168 (possession of counterfeit bank notes) of the Revised Penal Code.
Ibay said the entrapment operation was conducted following a complaint from John Ramirez,44, a resident of the same condominium who was sweet-talked by the suspect and his accomplices into buying the ‘Black Dollar’ scheme.
It turned out that the complainant and Fouse met in Greenbelt, Makati on Friday last week. During their meeting, the suspect showed Ramirez several bundles of dollars with water marks and told him they were authentic.
The Cameroonian national said that the water marks were in the dollars since they were placed there as a form of security by the United States Agency for International Development or USAID in case they fell into terrorist hands. The dollars were supposedly being given by USAID to governments of war-torn countries in Africa.
The complainant said that during their talk, Fousi offered him a chemical solution to remove the water mark. The chemical would cost him P50,000 while each US$100 bill will be sold for merely P2,000.
The victim added that Fousi even demonstrated the process by putting a drop of the solution over the water mark. When the water mark disappeared, Ramirez said he and the African national went to a money-changer shop to convert it into peso.
Knowing he would hit the jackpot, the complainant said he ordered US$2,000 from the suspect and paid him P100,000 for the bills. However, when he applied the solution to the dollars and tried to exchange them into pesos, the victim said he was told that the money were all fake.
This prompted Ramirez to file a complaint before the CIDG-NCR office in Manila last Monday. During the sting, the complainant contacted Fousi anew and ordered another US$2,000 from him and told the latter to deliver the money in his condominium.
The African was arrested shortly after he gave the fake dollars to the victim and took the P100,000 worth of boodle money topped by three marked P1,000 bills.
Recovered from the possession of the suspect were 20 pieces of suspected fake $100 bills, two $100 bills, a vial containing a white liquid solution, his passport, a document purportedly from the USAID which supposedly details the history of the ‘water-marked dollars,’ the boodle money and three mobile phones.
Many Cameroonian nationals arrested for the same fraudulent scheme in the past also yielded the same kind of fake dollars and so-called ‘solution’ to wash the ‘black dollars.’
The confiscated suspected fake U.S. dollars will be turned over to the Currency Issue and Integrity Office of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.