4 persons lose P1.714m to investment scam

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – Four more persons came out recently and reported to the police that they too, were victims of the so-called controversial investment scam of the FOREX Investment Scheme.

Based on records of the Roxas City police station, a man from Mambusao, Capiz invested P1,034,500. Two others from Brgy. Banica here invested P400,000 and P100,000, respectively; while another from San Roque Street here plunked in P180,000.

According to them, they cannot anymore locate Lourdes Bulaqueña Baarde, the person that encouraged them to invest. They added that the post dated checks issued by Baarde for their supposed interest earning bounced. The bank teller told them that the account is already closed.

It may be recalled that Baarde is facing string syndicated estafa or violation of Article 315 section 2 of Revised Penal Code in relation to PD 1689, and Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 or Anti-Bouncing Check Law filed by several victims because of the bounced checks she issued.

Last Feb 14, 2019, one of the 80 complainants filed an estafa case against Baarde, the alleged brains of an investment scam.

According to Chief Inspector Arthemius Devaras, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-Capiz) provincial director, the complainant submitted documents to his office in order to push through with the filing of the case before the City Prosecutor’s Office.

He said the complainant has told him that he directly transacted with Baarde when she recruited him to invest in the Forex Investment Scheme. She also issued post-dated checks to him as assurance of future interest earnings.

“The complainant did not hesitate to go with her because of the loan agreement notarized by a lawyer aside from the post-dated check issued to him,” Devaras added.

Meanwhile, the number of victims of the alleged “investment scam” has risen to 80 as more of them trooped to the Roxas City police station to file complaints against the perpetrator.

One of the victims was incumbent village chief Rolando “Totong” Tuazon of Brgy. Lanot who invested P200,000 upon the invitation of Baarde.

Earlier reports indicated that each victim invested P100,000 to P200,000 in exchange for high returns. Given the number of victims so far, the money involved is estimated between P7.2 million and P14.4 million.

According to one of the investors who asked for anonymity, Baarde, 41, can no longer be reached after the issue came out.

The complainants told the police that FIS and Baarde, a former employee of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and resident of Rio Grande Subdivision in Arnaldo Boulevard, failed to return the money they invested.

The complainants, mostly local government employees, teachers, police officers and private individuals, invested at least P100,000 each.

The complainants said the 20 percent return on their investment tempted them to part with their money.

As an assurance of sorts, FIS issued post-dated checks reflecting the investors’ projected interest earning.

But the investors were alarmed after the checks bounced for lack of funds. The investors learned later on that the trading system was hacked and can no longer be restored.