MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has uncovered the modus operandi of an alleged syndicate that targets foreign nationals who wish to invest in infrastructure projects of the government.
In an entrapment operation, the NBI was able to arrest Anselmo Nolasco Monreal who claimed to be the owner of a company called Goshen Capital Holdings Limited.
Monreal’s alleged partner in his operation is a certain Maria Elvisa Tabar.
The NBI said the operation was prompted by a complaint filed by a Japanese businessman Musashi Nagashima from whom the suspects were able to steal money.
Monreal and Tabar allegedly invited the victim to invest in the Davao Metro Link Train Project which had a fund worth 5 billion US dollars.
But Nagashima was told that he needed to pay 150,000 dollars first before the project’s billion-peso fund can be released.
To further convince the victim, the suspects showed him documents of the fund’s supposed bank deposits.
“The Japanese contractors thought something was amiss, so they verified. It turned out that these documents are spurious,” NBI Anti-Graft Division executive officer Atty. Nat Ramos said.
Overall, the suspects have stolen 60,000 US dollars or 2 million pesos from Nagashima.
Philippine authorities are now looking for Tabar, Monreal’s alleged accomplice in the modus operandi.
“So we are warning the public to deal with legitimate representatives of the government and deal with the right offices of the government,” NBI spokesman Deputy Dir. Ferdinand Lavin said.
The NBI is also investigating the depth of the operation of the suspects. This is after the agency received information that an Australian official also had fallen prey to a similar modus operandi.
Monreal and Tabar are facing charges of estafa and falsification of commercial documents. If proven guilty, the two might face jail time of up to 12 years. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
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