BY SHIELA G. GELERA
Syndicated estafa charges were filed yesterday against the suspects in the rice investment scam in Bacolod City.
Renoir Baldovino of the National Bureau of Investigation-Bacolod said yesterday that the charges were filed against five suspects.
The charges recommended were for syndicated estafa because based on the investigation and sworn statements of the victims that there were five suspects, who all solicited investment money from them, Baldovino said.
“If the suspects are five or more, it is syndicated estafa,” he said.
Baldovino said the documents were sent through email to the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office because it is under lockdown. The prosecutor has acknowledged receipt and will set a schedule to receive the hard copies.
He said the charges have four initial complainants, other victims will soon follow.
An investor, who requested that her name be withheld, told the STAR that she invested her money in April at the start of General Community Quarantine in Bacolod.
She said she got all her initial invested money through the weekly payouts, and again invested the profit.
It was only recently when there were problems in the payouts, she said.
Twenty-four complainants have already sought the help of NBI-Bacolod, while 15 individuals went to the Bacolod Police Station 2 to report that they were also victimized by the rice investment scam.*