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Monday, April 22, 2019

Investment scam 'mastermind' arrested in Angeles City

AUTHORITIES arrested on Sunday, November 12, a man accused of being behind a P1.6-billion investment scam which victimized at least 16,000 people, including overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East.

Superintendent Roque Merdeguia, Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (ATCU) chief, said Darlito dela Cruz was arrested in Henson Ville, Amic, Angeles City around 1 a.m. Sunday. He has known addresses in Binmaley, Pangasinan and Camara Island in Botolan, Zambales.

Dela Cruz has a standing arrest warrant for charges of syndicated estafa and estafa issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215 in 2016.

Dela Cruz was the head of the defunct Hyper Program International (HPI) Direct Sales and Trading Corporation, which started operations in March 2014.

Merdeguia said the company’s modus operandi was to invite or recruit customers through the internet, particularly social media, to invest in its cosmetics and health and wellness products with a promise of 30- to 35-percent investment return in a span of 40 to 45 days.

He said the company has failed to deliver its promise. The company ceased operations in November 2014 without returning the money of its investors.

The company’s investors flocked to the office of the National Bureau of Investigation in 2015 to file complaints against Dela Cruz and other company officials, including Anthony Purganan who was arrested by the CIDG in July 2016 in Antipolo City. (SunStar Philippines)
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