THE National Bureau of Investigation-Bacolod is now investigating the alleged fake operations of Small-Town Lottery (STL) in Negros Occidental.

Lawyer Renoir Baldovino, agent-in-charge of NBI-Bacolod made the statement after the arrest of two individuals last week while collecting bets for STL without franchise from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

The arrest of the suspects was the result of a raid conducted by the NBI operatives at an establishment inside the Libertad South public market in Bacolod City on Friday, August 5.

Investigations showed that those behind in the fake STL operations are also operating in the different areas of Negros Occidental.

The NBI said the raid was conducted after they received information of a fake STL outlet, that is offering bigger cash prizes for winning bets.

Baldovino identified the two arrested suspects as Reynne Magbanua Lopez and Arjens Arro Esbida, both residents of Bacolod City.

Upon verification with the PCSO national office, he said, they found out that they are operating without any franchise, or permit from the agency.

Baldovino said they are now identifying the financier of the illegal gambling outlet, which he suspects is part of a syndicate in Negros Occidental.

Based on information gathered by the NBI, the suspects have been operating since last week.

Recovered from the two arrested suspects were assorted illegal gambling paraphernalia, and P1,500 in cash bets.

The NBI official claimed that the illegal gambling outfit is codenamed “Vikings”.

The two arrested suspects are now detained at the NBI custodial facility in Bacolod City. (TDE)