Hoax kidnap-for-ransom cases on the rise in 2015—PNP
Nearly half of the kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) cases handled by the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) this year turned out to be hoaxes.
In a press briefing on Monday at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Senior Supt. Roberto Fajardo, the AKG director, said that of the 25 kidnapping reports they looked into from January to September, at least 10 turned out to be “kidnap-me” schemes.
The hoax cases for the past nine months have reached 11, only one incident short of the number of hoax KFR cases for the whole of 2014, which had 12, Fajardo said during a press briefing.
“So the year isn’t over yet, but last year’s fake kidnappings have already been surpassed,” Fajardo said, noting the perceived increase of hoax cases.
In his presentation, Fajardo showed that seven of the hoax cases were perpetrated by Filipinos, two by Koreans, and two by British nationals. This includes the latest case in which the British man “rescued” by the AKG last Thursday in Bulacan admitted he only pretended to have been kidnapped two weeks ago to milk ransom from his family in London.
Fajardo declined to provide further details on the case, but said the British national has been staying in the custody of the AKG, but would be turned over soon to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) or the British embassy.
“False reporting of kidnapping cases greatly affects the human and budgetary resources of the AKG,” but no complaint was ever filed by those conned into paying the ransom, which were usually family members of the hoax perpetrator, Fajardo said.
For this reason, the AKG has turned to the Department of Justice to help draft a law to penalize false kidnap-for-ransom reports, Fajardo said.
Until such a law is passed, however, Fajardo encourages kidnap-for-ransom victims—and hoax victims alike—to “report the incident, so the perpetrators won’t do it again.”
The number of kidnapping cases reported for this year, however, appears to have dropped, from 50 in 2014, to only 25 from January to September this year. “We hope those figures will not increase,” Fajardo said.
Meanwhile, the AKG appears to remain stumped regarding the kidnapping of tourists—three foreigners and a Filipina—on Samal Island last Sept. 21. “There has been no sighting of the victims. No one has made contact [to make demands],” Fajardo said, in Filipino.
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