A Filipino caregiver was arrested Friday for allegedly using his bedridden employer’s debit cards and using them to purchase airline tickets for his trips abroad, a report by ABS CBN News said.
Operatives from the PNP Anti Cybercrime Group and Avsegroup arrested Jorest Irk Delambaca upon his arrival in Manila on board a Cebu Pacific flight from Bangkok, Thailand.
His victim, a 69-year-old retiree, reported to authorities that his debit cards had been stolen and used by Delambaca.
In his affidavit, the unnamed victim said his family hired Delambaca to care for him.
“For almost a year, respondent Delambaca ate, rested and slept in our family home alongside other family members,” the affidavit stated.
The victim said it was really hard for the family “since it cannot be denied that we both reposed a high degree of trust and confidence in Delambaca so much that he could stay in our bedroom alone. He could even clean our bedroom while we were not inside the room.”
But on February 23, the caregiver suddenly went missing.
“We became worried and tried to contact him through his mobile number, but his phone could not be reached,” the victim added in his affidavit.
After three days, the victim was notified by his bank that several withdrawals were made using his payroll and credit cards. The card was used several times to purchase appliance, clothes, online tickets and hotel reservations abroad.
“In total, Delambaca was able to take the amount of Php293,380.52,” the affidavit read.
According to Senior Insp. Reynaldo Salim, chief of ACG-Cyber Financial Crime section, investigators pulled receipts from merchants as proof of Delambaca’s purchases using the victim’s debit cards. Merchants included retail stores and online transactions.
“Na-link up natin siya dahil nag-purchase sya sa isang boutique na kung saan yung debit card ng victim ginamit niya. At the same time nag-appear sa reprinted na resibo, ginamit niya yung SM Advantage card niya. Maliban doon yung booking niya sa sa airplane, ang pangalan ng passenger ay pangalan ng suspect,” Salim said.
Delambaca managed to purchase air tickets and made hotel bookings from debit cards for his recent travels to Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam, police said. He also allegedly bought plane tickets and made online hotel reservations for vacation in the Maldives and Singapore.
He was initially charged with at least 44 counts of the crime of qualified theft.
Additional charges of at least 42 counts of access device fraud in violation of Republic Act 8484 or the Access Device Regulation Act of 1998 will be filed against Delambaca.