A SYNDICATED estafa complaint was filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) before the City Prosecutor's Office in Bacolod City Wednesday, September 16, 2020, against five suspects involved in a rice investment scam in the city.
NBI-Bacolod head Renoir Baldovino said they charged Krizia Gonzaga, Jennifer Nierves and their three companions, all residents of Bacolod City.
Baldovino said last week, about 30 complainants sought their assistance after they were scammed by the suspects amounting to P40 million.
He added Gonzaga and Nierves were identified as the principal suspects in the rice investment scam.
Baldovino noted that based on the statement of the complainants, the suspects encouraged them to invest their money on a rice venture.
"It's like pyramiding because they will recruit more persons to invest their money on rice venture and the suspects already took about P40 million from the victims," Baldovino said.
He said some of the victims invested about P10 million and the lowest was P300,000.
"There's no rice shortage here so how can they earn a big amount of money in just three days. The suspects promised them that they will earn 10 to 300 percent depending on the duration of their investment," he added.
The complainants filed complaints after the suspects failed to give the promised earnings.
Aside from 30 complaints, Baldovino said they expect more to come out and to file additional charges against the suspects. Some of the victims are still hoping that the suspects will return their money.
He said based on their investigation, the suspects have no business permit from the City Government of Bacolod and no registration from the Securities and Exchange (SEC).
He added the suspects claimed they have five rice warehouses in Bacolod and were allegedly supplying rice as far as in Negros Oriental to entice investors.
Baldovino urged other victims of the rice investment scam to visit their office or the Philippine National Police and Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) so they can file charges against the suspects.