Pinoys claim travel agency duped them

Posted at 07/25/14 5:41 PM

NATIONAL CITY, California - A group of angry customers of a travel agency formed outside its office for the past several weeks claiming that they have been scammed.

Last week, witnesses said that Elvie's Travel was raided by police. A computer and hard drives were taken from the agency operated by Nestor Abulente. His wife, Elvie, owns Elvie's Boutique, the clothing store that houses the travel agency.

A handful of angry customers have begun filing complaints with authorities prior to the supposed raid.

"Lots of people have been complaining about him. I thought it was only me," said one of the victims, Zenaida Sobromonte.

Sobromonte said another victim claimed to have paid the agent $6,000 in cash for a plane ticket to the Philippines.

While many victims did not want to appear on camera the problems they told were similar to Sobromonte and her 91-year-old mother Rosa Alo.

They were stranded in the Philippines after buying what they thought were $5,000 worth of roundtrip tickets from Elvie's Travels.

The Abulentes have not been consistent with posted store hours. The doors were often locked while Nestor's phone rang, the voice mail box was full and a text message went unanswered.

Customers claimed when he is spotted, it appears as if he is rushing to avoid the crowds.

"He didn't look at us at all. He kind of went along his business but he's kind of like running. It's like he knew we were here," said Sobromonte's stepson, Sonny.

Alleged victims are now organizing themselves to file a lawsuit against Abulente.

"Lahat ng tao gusto mag-lawsuit. Marami kami mga kasama sa lawsuit. Sa ganyan para mag bayad sa ginawa niya sa mga tao. Mag bayad siya dapat sa lahat. Kung di, makukulong siya, kung hindi sya mag bayad," said Sobromonte.

Witnesses said Abulente was last seen hours before the supposed raid. However, he was not present when police were there.

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