Filipina buskers busted for bogus charity fundraising

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Belinda Austria Toledo, Jesica Bayutas Ortega and Ruthie Espina Babila were taken into custody for claiming to raise money for a children’s charity.
Belinda Austria Toledo, Jesica Bayutas Ortega and Ruthie Espina Babila were taken into custody for claiming to raise money for a children’s charity.

Three Filipina fraudsters claiming to raise money for a children’s charity were arrested while busking in Pattaya.

Belinda Austria Toledo, 55, Jesica Bayutas Ortega, 50, and Ruthie Espina Babila, 38, were taken into custody outside beer bars on Petchtakul Road by Tourist and Immigration police Jan. 17. Officers seized 10 notebooks full of donors’ names, a guitar, 5,690 baht and two boxes of cakes with a sign soliciting donations.

The women claimed to be raising funds for the Children’s Joy Foundation and strolled through Pattaya playing songs, selling cake and showing documents supposedly verifying the legitimacy of the organization.

The problem was that the foundation doesn’t exist and the women didn’t have a work permit or license to solicit funds for charity.

The suspects told police they had been doing this for years and, in three hours in Pattaya, had collected more than 5,000 baht.

They will be prosecuted and deported.