THE Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges against Optical Media Board (OMB) Chairman Ronnie Ricketts and four others for allegedly allowing the return of confiscated pirated DVDs and VCDs to their owner company in 2010.

In a complaint filed with the Sandiganbayan on Wednesday, Ricketts and four other personnel of the OMB Enforcement and Inspection Division (EID) were accused of allowing the return of tons of pirated Digital Video Discs (DVDs) and Video Compact Discs (VCDs) confiscated during a raid at the Sky High Marketing Corporation on May 27, 2010 in Quiapo, Manila.

During investigation, field investigators found out that few hours after the raid, the OMB gave Sky High Marketing Corporation a signal to retrieve the confiscated items at its compound in Quezon City.

OMB Executive Director Cyrus Paul Valenzuela, EID head Manuel Mangubat, investigation agent Joseph Arnaldo, and computer operator Glenn Perez were also named as defendants in the case.

The Ombudsman said the confiscated items could have been used as evidence in the filing of appropriate charges under the Optical Media Board Act of 2013 against Sky High Marketing Corporation.

It said the lost of the evidence caused "damage and prejudice to the government and to the detriment of public interest."

The case was set for raffle on Friday, June 26. (Sunnex)