By Khaosod English
22 November 2013, Last upated at 13:44 GMT
Filipino Typhoon Relief 'Scammers' Arrested
(22 November) Udon Thani
police have arrested two Filipino missionaries accused of posing as fund raisers for the relief
effort of Typhoon Haiyan and pocketing the donation money for themselves.
The police said
they had been informed by a charity group called JC Society Foundation that two citizens of the
Philippines have been claiming to work for the charity and raising donation under the name of the
foundation in many provinces, such as Bangkok, Chonburi, Phuket, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon
According to complaint filed to the police, the two suspects would perform music in
tourist attractions or crowded places, such as shopping malls, and displaying fake documents
claiming to represent JC Society Foundation. The suspects would also reportedly pretend to register
the names of those who donated their money.
Detective police officers later located the two
suspects as they were playing guitar and soliciting for donation opposite Napapai Hotel in Udon
Thani province. The police apprehended the suspects and sent their names as printed on passports to
the JC Society Foundation for verification.
The suspects were identified as Ms.Minerva Macapili
Bedana and Ms.Juana Espelita Hoyos
hearing confirmation that the suspects do not exist in the charity database, the police promptly
arrested the two and escorted them to police station, where the suspects reportedly confessed that
they were missionaries working in a church in Manila and later devised a plan to pose as fund
raisers of JC Society Foundation in Thailand.
According to the police, the suspects told them
they simply printed out official-looking documents from the foundation′s website and frame them in
plastic cover to fool unsuspecting donors.
Ms. Bedana and Ms. Hoyos also reportedly told the
police they would return to the Philippines every two months before coming back to Thailand again
for further scamming, as their tourist visas would expire after two months.
The suspects also
reportedly said the latest trip they made to Thailand was after Typhoon Haiyan struck the
Philippines, causing devastating damages to the nation, and they claimed to their donors that the
donation money would be sent to assist the victims in affected areas.
A senior police
estimated that the two Filipinos had gathered "hundreds of thousands" baht throughout their alleged
Ms. Bedana and Ms. Hoyos were charged with soliciting for donations without
permission. The police expect representatives from JC Society Foundation to file charges on using
counterfeit documents soon.
The police also urged citizens allegedly scammed by the two
suspects to file charges against the pair.