Con artists duped 2.2M victims of P66B
MANILA, Philippines — Con artists behind eight massive investment rip-offs in the country had been able to gyp about P66 billion from 2.2 million of their unsuspecting victims in nearly two decades, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian disclosed on Sunday.
However, the senator said only one individual accused of operating a major pyramiding scam, similar to the scheme allegedly designed by Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. founder and Pastor Joel Apolinario, had been indicted and jailed since 2000.
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate economic affairs committee, said the failure of the government to arrest the brains of investment scams had emboldened others to put up their own unlawful operations.
Only one jailed
“Swindlers are not afraid to dupe investors because they know they can avoid jail time,” Gatchalian said.
“It’s really unfortunate that out of the 24 suspects, only one was jailed,” he said.
Gatchalian was referring to Rosario “Rose” Baladjay, who was convicted for multiple syndicated estafa and violation of the country’s Securities Regulation Code.
Baladjay, the country’s “pyramiding queen,” was believed to have hoodwinked billions of pesos from thousands of people who were promised hefty returns by investing in her company, the Multinational Telecoms Investors Corp.
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