NBI probes new investment scam in GenSan

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has launched a probe into another investment scam that reportedly has been in operation the past months in this city and neighboring areas.   

Jeffrey Mosqueda, Special Investigator III of the NBI-Sarangani District Office (Sardo), on Monday said they are gathering evidence against the alleged founders and officers of the Community Volunteer for Life Improvement (Covli), which was previously based in Barangay City Heights here.

Mosqueda said the entity reportedly duped hundreds of residents through an illegal investment scheme, which collapsed last month.

“We’re currently processing the complaints filed by several investors who were victimized by the group,” he said in an interview.

Citing accounts from the victims, Mosqueda said Covli reportedly lured them to “pay in” their money for a monthly interest payout of 60 percent.

But he said the group only operated for several months and was not able to deliver the promised payouts, with the status of the investments and the whereabouts of some of its founders now uncertain.

Malou Ma, one of the alleged founders of the group, claimed in an interview with reporters that they suspended their operations since last week.

Ma did not disclose the reason for the suspension but said they have been fixing their system and will later return the money put in by their investors.

Mosqueda said they are still determining the extent of Covli’s operations but one of its supposed agents or leaders alone reportedly collected some PHP10.5 million from over 200 investors.

“We were really surprised with the emergence of this new scam as we thought the people already learned from what happened these past months,” he said.

He was referring to the operations of dozens of investment schemes that scammed thousands of residents through promised interest payouts of 30 to 400 percent a month.

In October, a city council investigation showed that residents here and nearby Sarangani already lost around PHP2.45 billion from various investment scams that proliferated in the area.

Mosqueda reminded residents to refrain from joining investment schemes that offer huge payouts and immediately report such kind of activities to the NBI and other law enforcement units. (PNA

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