Investment firm operator nabbed in Surigao del Sur
DAVAO CITY— An official of a company behind an investment operation in Tagum City was arrested on Wednesday by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation two weeks after he disappeared with P500 million in investors’ money.
Police Col. Ferlu Silvio, Davao del Norte provincial police director, on Thursday confirmed that Ryan Maunes, chief executive officer of Titan 29 Marketing, was arrested by the NBI with the help of the town police in Barobo town, Surigao del Sur, on Wednesday.
Maunes is a subject of a complaint by at least 200 investors from Tagum, the capital city of Davao del Norte, after he fled with their money early this month.
Investors sought assistance from the Tagum police on June 19 when they realized that Maunes was missing and could no longer be reached after June 10, when Titan’s office was shut down. This was about the same time that policemen and NBI agents conducted a series of raids against Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. and other firms offering high returns for money invested in their operations.
The complainants invested a minimum of P20,000 to a maximum of P2.5 million in Titan, holding on to the promise of Maunes and his agents that the company would double their money in a week.
Silvio said cases of syndicated estafa and large-scale estafa had been filed against Maunes.
He said Titan 29 Marketing was only one of the investment companies whose operators had gone missing after the government crackdown this month.
Earlier, the provincial police filed a syndicated estafa case against Kenneth Paz Nagas, CEO of QuestLink Digital Marketing Services, who disappeared with over P200 million in investments from an undetermined number of individuals. QuestLink has promised a 500-percent return on investment in just 15 days.
Unlike Kapa, which had been in operation for three years and had been regularly paying out its 30-percent monthly interest to its members until it was shut down last week, QuestLink and Titan 29 had yet to pay out interests when their operators ran away with investors’ money.
On Thursday last week, a former employee of QuestLink surrendered to police, saying he was also a victim of the firm.
Earlier, Alex Roldan, the Department of the Interior and Local Government director in Southern Mindanao dared government employees who put their money in investment schemes like Kapa to resign if they questioned the government’s move to shut down these groups’ operations.
Going against oath
“If government employees questioned (President Duterte’s) order to stop investment schemes, then it’s better (for them) to resign from their jobs because (they’re going) against their oath (of office),” Roldan said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
“We have an oath to follow and obey the law. If you want to criticize the government because of its decision, [then] you should get out of government [service],” he said.
The crackdown followed the President’s order to the NBI, the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and other agencies to investigate and arrest those behind these illegal operations.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.