THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Bacolod filed Wednesday, October 21, 2020, estafa charges against three suspects involved in a P25-million rice investment scam before the Bacolod City Prosecutor's Office.
NBI-Bacolod District Office chief Renoir Baldovino confirmed to Sunstar-Bacolod that the cases were based on the complaints of ten individuals who are victims of the rice investment scam.
The NBI identified the suspects who are facing charges as Krizia Rhea Gonzaga, Jennifer Nierves and Claire Coleen Latido.
Baldovino said it is up to the court to evaluate the case and upgrade it to syndicated estafa.
On September 16, the NBI also filed a case for syndicated estafa before the City Prosecutor's Office in Bacolod City against five suspects involved in a rice investment scam in the city.
Baldovino said they charged Krizia Gonzaga, Jennifer Nierves and their three companions, all residents of Bacolod City.
The charges were filed after about 30 complainants sought the NBI's assistance after they were allegedly 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 in a rice venture.
"It's like pyramiding because they will recruit more people 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.
Baldovino 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 Commission.
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.