Man nabbed for selling fake STL tickets

CEBU. The STL booklets seized from a 50-year-old man during an entrapment operation on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.
CEBU. The STL booklets seized from a 50-year-old man during an entrapment operation on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.Photo by Honey Cotejo

A 50-YEAR-OLD man accused of selling fake bet booklets for small town lottery (STL) using the name of King Dragon Gaming and Amusement Corporation was arrested following an entrapment operation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation Cebu District Office (NBI-Cebdo) on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

Authorities identified the suspect as Isdelito Libradilla Baring, also known as Esde Baring, a resident of Barangay Kamagayan, Cebu City.

Baring was nabbed inside his residence on Wednesday.

Arnel Pura, the NBI-Cebdo (Mandaue) agent-in-charge, said in a press conference Thursday, February 29, that Baring was arrested after Christian Carlos, the operations manager of King Dragon, sought the NBI’s help.

King Dragon is one of the authorized agent corporations (AAC) that are allowed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to operate and play STL. Their office is located at SL Technopark in Barangay Gabi, Municipality of Cordova.

Carlos told the NBI that their ticket sales were initially good when they started operating in Cebu on October 21, 2023. In the following months, however, they noticed a gradual decrease in their sales.

Upon conducting an internal audit, they found out that some tickets turned over by their winning bettors were not registered under their system. This caused a discrepancy in their records and resulted in a loss of revenue.

It was not until December 2023 when they were able to identify the cause of the problem. He said it took longer for the management to file a complaint as they needed to gather more evidence to support their claim.

Pura confirmed that after receiving a complaint, the NBI-Cebdo conducted an initial investigation, which later revealed that Baring was the primary distributor of fake King Dragon STL tickets.

They also found out that Baring distributed fake King Dragon STL tickets in Balamban, Consolacion, Argao, and cities of Talisay, Carcar, and Danao.

To confirm the information, NBI agents posed as buyers and purchased 100 booklets two days before the entrapment operation on Monday, February 26.

On Wednesday, during the actual operation, authorities seized 140 additional fake King Dragon STL tickets but no cash was confiscated from Baring.

Original vs fake tickets

Pura advised the bettors that they should only purchase their tickets from authorized betting outlets such as the yellow-colored stalls with official PCSO markings.

Carlos said that if the bettors bought fake STL tickets, specifically King Dragon STL tickets, they would not be able to receive their betting cash prize if they won.

Pura also said that it was impossible for the bettors to track down the fake ticket distributors to get their cash prize because after the tickets were disbursed, the profit went directly to the asher, coordinator, and financer of those fake tickets.

The NBI also gave some pointers to identify fake King Dragon STL tickets, which included unsequenced page numbers that were not computer-generated and a darker-colored logo compared to the original.


In a media interview, Baring denied having any direct involvement in selling the fake STL tickets.

He said the tickets were just stored in his house by his two colleagues from Balamban and Danao.

He also clarified that he never knew the tickets were fake, and he was just asked by the two to deliver the tickets to them.

He was paid P2 per ticket booklet by his friends who had a printing supplier on Junquera St. in Cebu City for the tickets.

Pura said the King Dragon has only authorized two printing partners in Cebu, namely, Clavano Printers and Basta Print Services.

Baring was emotional during the interview, and said selling STL tickets was his sole source of income to support his family.

The suspect has five children.

Large syndicate

Pura said they have already located the printing shop suspected to be involved in the production of the fake King Dragong STL tickets.

But he did not disclose more details about the investigation.

According to Pura, the NBI believes that Baring and his accomplices may be part of a larger syndicate that produces counterfeit STL tickets. This syndicate is believed to be operating in Cebu.

Baring is facing charges for Falsification of Public Documents, which is a violation of Article 172 in relation to Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

The case has already been filed at the Cebu City Prosecutor's Office as of 2 p.m. Thursday, February 29.

Pura said the suspect has the option to post bail, as the case is bailable.

But Baring needs to pay a total of P16,000 for each of the 240 ticket booklets he was caught with.

The suspect is currently under the custody of the NBI-Cebdo and will remain there until he posts bail. (HIC)


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