“Wala naman po talaga kaming kasalanan” – these are the words of an Overseas Filipino Worker in Taiwan who got involved in a huge money laundering scam.
Jessa is one of the victims of a money-laundering scam in Taiwan. According to Jessa, she lends her ATM account to another Filipina who is also her colleague at work.
She believed that the ATM account will only be used by someone who will send money into it and the money will be withdrawn by Jessa. In exchange, they will give her some cash.
“Honestly, meron din naman pong balik ang pagpapahiram ko ng ATM, parang pa konswelo po. Binibigyan din po ako sa bawat winiwithdraw ko,” says Jessa.
Until one day, Jessa was asked to withdraw 800,000 Taiwan dollars or P1.5 million. It was then that the account of Jessa was found to be involved in fraud and anti-money laundering law.
“Habang ako ay nagtatrabaho, hinuli po ako ng pulis dahil nga po sa kasong yun,” says Jessa. She was imprisoned for 7 months together with other people who were involved in the scam.
Jessa was permitted to bail and free herself because she is pregnant. Jessa was forced to admit to her crimes, thinking that it will lower her jail term. Jessa will still be imprisoned for two years.
“Although my kasalanan din kami sa pagsali sa gropo ng fraud, yung hatol sa amin, dalawang taon, babalik kami ng kulungan kasama yung baby ko,” says Jessa.
“May verdict na ito kasi sa trial pa lang, umamin na siya. Nagkasala siya doon. Therefore, lumabas na yung decision ng korte,” says Mike So, Deputy Director, MECO ATN.
Jessa is not losing hope and asked for help from people who could render some help.
“Hihingi sana ako ng tulong sa inyo na makipag ugnayan sana ang Pilipinas sa Taiwan. Pauwiin nalang po kaming mag-ina,” Jessa added.
OFWs are reminded to always be careful when withdrawing money especially if it isn’t their own money.