25-year-old woman arrested for P500M scam in Parañaque
MANILA, Philippines — A 25-year-old woman who has been tagged by authorities as the brains behind a P500-million scam was arrested in an entrapment operation in Parañaque on Monday night.
A police report said Mary Angelaine Libanan Martirez of Citadela Executive Village in Las Piñas was apprehended in Better Living Subd., Barangay Don Bosco, at 11 p.m., after more than 30 investors complained she reneged on her “monthly payments” following their investments in supposedly profitable businesses allegedly backed by some government officials.
A press release from the Office of the City Mayor on Tuesday said based on reports, Martirez solicited the investments by using the names of Mayor Edwin Olivarez and his brother, Rep. Eric Olivarez.
The mayor, however, has denied any connection with Martirez.
“In this regard, the general public is hereby warned that the undersigned does not have any connection nor (is) connected whatsoever to the person of MARY ANGELAINE LIBANAN MARTIREZ in respect to her alleged business and investment solicitations.
“As a matter of fact, immediately upon notice of this alleged scam, I wrote the NBI Director, Atty. Virgilio Mendez, dated July 27, 2015, urging them to conduct an investigation and to give justice to the victims of this scam,” the mayor said.
He urged the public to report any transaction with the suspect “where she may have used the names of MAYOR EDWIN L. OLIVAREZ and CONGRESSMAN ERIC L. OLIVAREZ” to the Office of the City Mayor in San Antonio Valley 1, or to call 0917-6306519.
“Further, the public or any victim of the alleged investment scam is advised to file immediately the appropriate complaint before the Police, NBI or proper authority,” he said.
Senior Supt. Ariel Andrade, the city’s chief of police, said the monthly payment to each investor was supposed to amount to 20 percent of his or her principal investment.
“So if you invested P1 million with (Martirez), you were supposed to get P200,000 monthly. At first they were being paid (from the investments of other investors) but after some time, the payments stopped,” Andrade said.
Andrade said initial investments of individuals from “rich families” ranged from P5 million to P70 million.
The police report said the first transaction took place in May 2014, and the last on July 31.
According to Andrade, Martirez’s arrest took place during her supposed “meet-up” with the investors for their monthly payments.
“During that time, the (investors) were already accompanied by the police,” Andrade said.
He said charges of syndicated estafa would be filed against Martirez and her husband Mark Anthony Martirez, 24, who was allegedly involved, too, in the scam but remained at large, as of Tuesday. SFM
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