SCAMS, SCANDALS & NINCOMPOOPS

Court orders arrest of 18 Alamcco execs over investment scam

A regional court in Sarangani province has ordered the arrest of at least 18 officials of a cooperative based in Alabel town that had allegedly operated an illegal investment scheme.

alamccoThe Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 in Alabel, Sarangani, confirmed Monday that it has issued a warrant of arrest against the board of directors and other officials of the Alabel-Maasim Credit Cooperative (Alamcco) for syndicated estafa.

The arrest warrant, copies of which circulated in the social media over the weekend, was signed by Judge Rebecca Dardo-Seredrica on February 18 and was served to respondents starting February 20, a court employee told PNA.

The charges against the cooperative, which was filed by the Sarangani Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, was based on complaints from members who were allegedly victimized by its defunct investment scheme.

Ordered arrested were Alamcco founder and chairman Pastor Jerson Cagang, and board of directors and officials identified as Conrado Mancao, Tirso Cereno, Juanito Jhon Castillo, Benigno Cereno, Albert Cagang, Fe Cagang, Ailene Mancao, Roshine Cereno, Jason Baybay, Liezel Vilan, Ivy Caparos, Calixto Bana-ay, Marlyn Tulio, Diana Ferry Sope, Anni Joy Dela Cruz, Marlon Marvin Lim, and Eustaquio Hocson.

Alamcco had been flagged by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Cooperative Development Authority for illegally soliciting investments from the public at a monthly interest of 35 percent.

Acting on a directive from President Rodrigo Duterte, agents from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) raided Alamcco’s offices in June last year in Alabel, Sarangani, Koronadal City and in this city.

In September last year, the NBI filed complaints of syndicated estafa and violation of the Securities Regulation Code before the Department of Justice’s special task force in Manila against 39 officials and individuals connected with Alamcco for engaging in unauthorized and Ponzi-like investment operations.

Col. Lex Ephraim Gurat, Sarangani police director, said they have started monitoring the whereabouts of the respondents but clarified that they have yet to receive the official copy of the warrant of arrest from the court.

“We’re ready to implement it. We are mandated to comply with the order of the court,” Gurat said in a text message. (PNA)

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