By Jennifer P. Rendon
A 23-year-old man was arrested for estafa and theft following an entrapment operation in a mall in City Proper district, Iloilo City afternoon of February 18.
Police identified the suspect as Meico Morales, a resident of Barangay Talanghauan, Cabatuan, Iloilo.
Members of the Iloilo City Police Station 5 arrested Morales at the food court of Robinson’s Place Iloilo in City Proper district.
Staff Sergeant Antonio Santianes, ICPS5 investigator on case, said the operation was conducted following a complaint lodged by Carelon Global Solutions, which was formerly known as Legato Health Technologies Philippines, Inc.
Morales used to work at the company and got separated in 2021.
But when he quit work, he allegedly failed to return a company-issued Dell laptop (serial number JFJRZD3) valued at P70,000.
On Feb. 17, 2023, Jogie Torres, the company’s safety and security specialist, conducted an inventory and learned that Morales failed to return the laptop after he did not report for duty in 2021.
It was not immediately known if the company tried to contact Morales and demand the return of the laptop.
But at around 10:54 p.m. on the said date, Torres said she saw that the laptop has been put on sale on Facebook.
She transacted with Morales, and they later agreed on a P20,000 price tag for the laptop.
They eventually decided to meet up at the mall.
During the “transaction,” Torres was accompanied by Edison Abendaño, the security guard detailed to their company.
The arrest was made after Morales received the money.
In his defense, Morales claimed that the company still owed him some back pay.
“But I told him that he should have just settled it and asked what was due him,” Santianes said.
The moment that Morales sold the laptop, “it constitutes theft because it was not his property, to begin with,” he added.
There are allegedly efforts from the suspect’s camp to settle the incident with the company to drop the criminal charges.