Man arrested for ‘selling’ fake STL tickets

FAKE STL TICKETS. The National Bureau of Investigation’s Cebu District Office in Mandaue City arrests a 50-year-old for allegedly selling counterfeit small town lottery tickets under King Dragon Gaming and Amusement Corp. /
FAKE STL TICKETS. The National Bureau of Investigation’s Cebu District Office in Mandaue City arrests a 50-year-old for allegedly selling counterfeit small town lottery tickets under King Dragon Gaming and Amusement Corp. / HONEY COTEJO

A 50-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for allegedly selling counterfeit small town lottery (STL) tickets.

Agents from the NBI Cebu District Office (Cebdo) in Mandaue City apprehended suspect Isdelito Libradilla Baring in an entrapment in his residence in Barangay Kamagayan, Cebu City on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.

Baring has been accused of selling fake STL tickets under the name King Dragon Gaming and Amusement Corp.

Arnel Pura, NBI Cebdo agent-in-charge, said in a press conference on Thursday, Feb. 29, that Christian Carlos, operations manager of King Dragon, sought their help after noticing discrepancies in ticket sales.

Declining sales

King Dragon is authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to operate STL games. Its office is located in SL Technopark, Barangay Gabi, Cordova.

According to Carlos, King Dragon’s ticket sales experienced an unexplained decline following an initial surge when they started operations in Cebu on Oct. 21, 2023. An internal audit revealed that some winning tickets submitted by bettors were unregistered in the company’s system.

The cause of the problem was identified in December 2023. King Dragon’s management delayed filing a complaint to allow for the collection of sufficient supporting evidence.

After receiving the complaint, the NBI Cebdo launched an investigation that implicated Baring as the primary distributor of counterfeit King Dragon STL tickets in the municipalities of Balamban, Consolacion and Argao, and the cities of Talisay, Carcar and Danao.

To gather solid evidence, NBI agents posed as buyers and obtained 100 fake booklets on Monday, Feb. 26, two days prior to the entrapment.

During the operation on Wednesday, the NBI Cebdo confiscated an additional 140 fake King Dragon STL tickets from Baring. No cash was seized.

Genuine and fake tickets

Pura urged bettors to buy tickets exclusively from authorized outlets, identifiable by their yellow stalls and official PCSO markings.

Carlos said winners holding fake STL tickets, particularly those of King Dragon, would be unable to claim their prizes.

Pura said fake ticket distributors are untraceable, and the profits from their sales go directly to the usher (the person who collects bets), coordinator, and financer.

The NBI provided identification tips for counterfeit King Dragon STL tickets: the page numbers are unsequenced and not computer-generated, and the logo has a darker shade than the original.

Suspect’s denial

Baring denied direct participation in the sale of fake STL tickets, claiming that his two colleagues from Balamban and Danao had merely stored the tickets at his residence. He said he was unaware the tickets were counterfeit and was simply paid P2 per booklet to deliver them.

Baring identified a printing supplier on Junquera St., Cebu City, as the source of the tickets.

Pura confirmed that King Dragon has only two authorized printing partners in Cebu: Clavano Printers and Basta Print Services.

Baring regretted selling the fake King Dragon tickets, citing the sale as his primary income source for his family of five children.

Syndicate

Pura revealed that the NBI has pinpointed the printing shop believed to be responsible for the production of fake King Dragon STL tickets; however, he refused to divulge specific details.

The NBI suspects that Baring and his associates are part of a broader counterfeit STL ticket syndicate operating within Cebu.

Baring was charged with falsification of public documents under Article 172 in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday afternoon.

The case is bailable. / HIC

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