Couple tagged in RGS investment scheme falls

(Photo courtesy of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A couple wanted for syndicated estafa was arrested in Barangay Balingasag, Bago City, Negros Occidental early this week.

Police served an arrest warrant against Engie Esteves, 39, and his wife Jekha, 38, both residents of the said village for their alleged links to the RGS investment scheme.

According to Police Lt. Roland Santillan, deputy chief of Bago City Police Station, the arrest warrant with no bail recommended was issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 19 in Roxas, Capiz on Jan. 30, 2023.

Santillan said the two suspects were allegedly tasked to look for clients.

“Daw sa marketing sila na assign,” he added.

Santillan said that three others with the same warrants are still at large.

The couple will be turned over to the authorities in Roxas, Capiz for custody.

In August 2022, one of the alleged founders of RGS World Marketing Corp. was arrested in an intelligence-driven operation in Barangay Paglaum, Binalbagan town.

An arrest warrant for syndicated estafa with no bail recommended was also served against 32-year-old Henjie Cuadra, who went into hiding for more than a year until he was monitored in the said town where he rented a house.

Early this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered the investment firm to stop its illegal investment scheme targeting investors in Western Visayas.

In an order dated March 1, 2022, the SEC en banc directed RGS World Marketing Corp. to immediately cease and desist from engaging in the unlawful or unauthorized solicitation, offer and/or sale of securities until it has filed the requisite registration statement and secured the necessary approval from the SEC.

RGS World is a duly registered corporation with the commission. However, it has never secured a secondary license from the commission as an issuer of securities or broker-dealer nor registered any securities for a public offering pursuant to the SRC.

The commission issued the cease and desist order after investigations by the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD), SEC Bacolod Extension Office (BacEO), and SEC Iloilo Extension Office showed that RGS World has been selling and/or offering compensation plans worth PHP1,000 to PHP20,000, with promised returns ranging from PHP3,500 to PHP80,000.

Investors were also promised non-monetary returns, such as frozen goods and rice, as well as additional bonuses, incentives, and products by referring or recruiting more members.

The company also distributed products such as soap, liniment oils, rice, eggs, and other poultry products, to disguise its investment scheme as a legitimate distribution business.

Authorities have earlier urged the victims to file complaints against the RGS and the people behind the investment scheme.