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Dutch tourists fall for ‘friendly’ Filipinas, end up with less fun in PH

/ 03:39 PM June 14, 2012

FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A teenage Dutch tourist, celebrating Independence Day at the Rizal Park, was drugged and then robbed of more than P20,000 in cash by seven “friendly” Filipinas, including an elderly woman, in Manila, police said.

Laurentia Elisabeth Stokkel, 19, a native of Amsterdam staying at a boarding house in Sta. Cruz, lodged late Wednesday night a robbery complaint with the Manila Police District General Assignment Section,  claiming that the women took P23,600 cash from her using her automated teller machine (ATM) card.

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Police Officer 3 Jay Jay Jacob, case investigator, said that the incident happened between 12 noon to 8 p.m. last Tuesday starting at Rizal Park, where Stokkel met the women, and ending somewhere in the Binondo district, where the women invited her for drinks.

Jacob said  that before the theft, Stokkel and a female compatriot were at the Rizal Park, participating in the Independence Day celebration, when a Filipina sat with them on bench and started chatting with them.

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While the woman was talking with the Dutch tourists, two other Filipinas arrived and were introduced to the foreigners. The trio then invited the foreign women to the Binondo Church and later into Chinatown.

Jacob said that when the tourists agreed to go with them, they met four other Filipinas, including an elderly woman, at the church before they went for some drinks.

It was at a videoke bar that the seven women learned of the tourists’ plan to go to Banaue and offered to give them a ride in a van after claiming that they were also going north.

The case investigator said that when the group was fetched by a van, they told the Dutch tourists that they had to first pass by their house, also in the Binondo district, to get some things. However upon reaching the house, the group offered the tourists another round of drinks, which unknown to them had been spiked.

While the tourists were dizzy and sleepy, the women told them it was time to go and convinced Stokkel that she had to withdraw money from the nearest bank so they could proceed to Banaue. The Dutch tourist agreed and as soon as she inserted her card in the ATM and entered her  code, one of the women pushed her aside and made three withdrawals of P3,200; P10,200; and P10,200 while she was escorted back to the van.

The women then brought her back to the house. When the tourists said that they had to catch a flight to Banaue, the women claimed that the van had broken down. The suspects instead flagged down a cab for the tourists, directing the driver to bring them to their boarding house in Sta. Cruz.

When Stokkel woke up and overcame her dizziness late Wednesday afternoon, she discovered the withdrawal slips among her things and reported the robbery to the police.

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Police are conducting follow-up operations to identify and arrest the con artists.

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TAGS: Crime, Dutch, Police, robbery, Tourism
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