BAGUIO CITY – The Anti-Investment Scam Task Force disclosed some 158 Cordillerans were reportedly duped by nine Ponzi firms to the tune of more than P94.23 million since April this year.
Senior Superintendent Jimmy Catanes, regional officer of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – North Central Luzon (CIDG-NCL), said some 55 personalities who had been operating the 9 controversial Ponzi firms were already charged for 158 counts of multiple and syndicated estafa in the different courts in Baguio and Benguet over the past several months
“Several warrants of arrest were already issued against some of the involved personalities in the different Ponzi firms that existed that is why duped investors must also cooperate to locate the whereabouts of their principals so that they will be constrained to answer for the crimes they committed against them,” Catanes said.
The nine Ponzi firms that have pending and resolved complaints include 3 Angels, Stiforp, Azula Pi-Luck, NBO, Villa Group, PC Wellness, Global Medra Resources Inc., Golden Power Trading and Services and Green Wealth group of companies.
Last Wednesday, some 17 investors of Greenwealth group of companies filed multiple estafa charges against the 10 personalities of the company who were able to dupe them of at least P20 million with most of the investors coming from Ifugao province.
According to him, probers expect the number of complainants and the some of money duped from them to significantly increase in the coming days once investors who cannot wait for the return of their investments and interests will be convinced to file the appropriate charges against the operators of the investment companies so that they will be forced to show up and answer for the crimes they committed.
The Anti-Investment Task Force was created in order to go after the numerous Ponzi firms that existed in the Cordillera over the past several years which resulted to the loss of more than P3 billion among thousands of willing investors who tried the get quick rich option instead of investing their hard earned money to more meaningful and profitable businesses.
It was learned that there are at least 50 ponzi firms that existed in the Cordillera over the past several years and most of them were able to fold up and cart away the hard earned money of the people while at least 15 of the said companies continue to do business putting the money of the innocent residents at risk of being stolen from them right in front of their noses.
Catanes raised an observation that some duped investors are simply taking their time to file the charges against the operators of the companies that duped them, citing that they want to see whether or not the wheels of justice are moving against the scammers so that they will be able to recover their investments and use the money for productive purposes.
The different Ponzi firms that existed offered a variety of schemes to entice the willing investors to place their hard earned money like interests ranging from 35 to 40 percent and a recovery period of at least three months with payouts every 15th and 30th days of the month prior to the release of their principal.
By Dexter A. See