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Traffic cop held for extortion

A traffic cop was arrested for alleged extortion during an entrapment operation inside the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) headquarters Sunday night, police reported yesterday.

Police Officer 3 Fernando Tanghay, a traffic investigator, was apprehended right in his office at the Traffic Sector 3 in Camp Karingal for receiving P7,000 extort money around 9:53 p.m., Sunday.

QCPD director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said one Elmie Mones informed them that Tanghay was demanding money from her in exchange for a fabricated traffic incident report.

Prior to extortion, a relative of Mones was involved in a head-on collision with two other cars on CP Garcia Street, Barangay UP Campus last May 31. Two passengers of their family’s Mitsubishi Adventure Wagon were hurt.

Tanghay took over the case and, during the probe, he found out that the vehicle was being used as ride-sharing service under Grab. Police said the injured passengers would not be able to claim their insurance should the vehicle was used as a public transport.

Eleazar said the 47-year-old cop then offered to change the details of the official traffic incident report in exchange for P7,000. Mones agreed and told the cop she would give him the amount Sunday night.

Eleazar said Mones, however, instead went to the QCPD’s Special Operations Unit to report about Tanghay’s demand, prompting his men to conduct an operation against him.

Tanghay was caught on a surveillance video receiving the P7,000 marked money from Mones during the entrapment.

The erring cop refused to give statements when he was presented to media yesterday.

Eleazar said he ordered the relief of Tanghay from his post as he faces a robbery extortion case.

His immediate boss, Traffic Sector 3 commander Chief Insp. Narciso Cajipe Jr., was also temporarily sacked to determine if he had knowledge over Tanghay’s extortion activity, Eleazar said.

Eleazar said they have yet to find out if Tanghay had done the same crime to his previous clients. He has been in police service since 1998. (VANNE ELAINE P. TERRAZOLA)