Council sets probe on rise of investment scams in Gensan

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The City Council is set to launch a legislative inquiry into the continuing proliferation of fraudulent investment schemes that have already scammed thousands of residents here.

City Councilor Jose Edmar Yumang said Wednesday the probe aims to uncover various illegal investment practices in the area and facilitate proper interventions by the local government.

Yumang proposed the inquiry during Tuesday’s regular session and it was immediately endorsed by Vice Mayor Loreto Acharon and other members of the legislative body.

“We’re looking at crafting local regulatory measures to protect our residents from these activities,” Yumang told reporters.

The inquiry, which was based on requests from concerned residents, is being targeted to start next week, he said.

The official said they will invite the operators, agents, brokers and victims of the illegal investment schemes, including those that already closed down.

He said they will also coordinate the matter with the city permits and licensing office, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).   

The NBI-Sarangani District Office and CIDG-12 have already received dozens of complaints from alleged victims of failed investment schemes, including those run by the Kabus Padatoon or Kapa Community Ministry International and Alabel-Maasim Credit Cooperative (Alamcco).

Kapa was shut down by the NBI last June on orders from President Rodrigo Duterte. The operations of Alamcco collapsed in July.

Several other investment schemes emerged in the area in the last two months that turned out as scams. These include the Shantal Business center, NMC trading, Pulis Paluwagan Movement, and Muficience Ministry.

Jeffrey Mosqueda, NBI area special investigator, earlier said they already monitored at least 10 investment scams in the city based on complaints from alleged victims.

According to estimates, the illegal activities have scammed over PHP2 billion worth of investments from local residents. -PNA

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