Alleged fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles surrendered to Philippine’s President Benigno Aquino III on August 28, shortly after he had announced a reward of 10 million Philippine pesos, or $223,940 US dollars for any information leading to her arrest.
Napoles was wanted on charges of “serious illegal detention arising from the alleged kidnapping of Benhur Luy,” according to the Philippine government.
She surrendered at 9:37 p.m. local time.
Napoles is a businesswoman who is accused of working with several elected officials to embezzle billions of Philippine pesos for their own gain.
Luy, Napoles’ aide and cousin, was one of the former staff members of Napoles who blew the whistle on the scheme. The scheme allegedly centered on converting 10 billion Philippine pesos from the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Malampaya Fund into kickbacks for Napoles and her company using dummy foundations and forged signatures, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Since the allegations have surfaced, hundreds of thousands of people across the country have engaged in anti-corruption protests.
Napoles was turned over into the custody of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Philippine National Police Director-General Alan Purisima for processing and booking.
Camp Crame, where Napoles surrendered, has been closed off to the media. She is being held in a vacant office there and is under heavy guard by the Philippines National Police elite Special Action Force, reported ANC-CBN.
Napoles reportedly surrendered to the president because she feared for her safety. A nationwide manhunt had been going on the last several weeks for her, and included the cancellation of her passport.
The National Bureau of Investigation is preparing charges against Napoles, some of her staff, some elected officials, and management of some of the non-governmental organizations accused in the scheme, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told the Sun-Star in a text message.
The whistleblowers won’t be charged, de Lima added.
Reynald Lim, the brother of Napoles, is still at large. Napoles’ lawyer Lorna Kapunan said that Lim plans to surrender soon.
There’s a reward if 10 million Philippine pesos, or $223,940 US dollars, for any information leading to his arrest. Lim is believed to have been involved in the embezzlement scheme.
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