Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Police authorities in Sarangani province have sought assistance from the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to help arrest several officials of a cooperative who had been tagged as behind the operations of a multimillion investment scam in the region.

Maj. Roy Yasay, chief of Alabel municipal police station, said Thursday they provided the Interpol with copies of the arrest warrant issued last month by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 against 18 officials of Alabel-Maasim Credit Cooperative (Alamcco).

Yasay said it was possible that some of the accused — especially Alamcco founder Jerson Cagang and his family — had already fled the country.

“The manhunt against the suspects is ongoing and we have expanded our search abroad through the Interpol,” he told reporters.

Judge Rebecca Dardo-Seredrica of the RTC Branch 46 in Alabel, Sarangani, issued a warrant of arrest against the officials of Alamcco last Feb. 18 for syndicated estafa charges.

Yasay said one of the suspects named in the arrest warrant was already arrested last Monday. He said Erenia Bagan, who allegedly worked as a teller for Alammco, was nabbed in Sitio Linao, Barangay Alegria in Alabel.

Aside from the Sarangani police, the police official said the National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement units have been also helping track down the officials of Alamcco, including its board of directors and key personnel.

It was not clear how much investments were collected by Alamcco when it ceased operations last year after a crackdown following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte. The current criminal complaint, however, showed that the victims lost some PHP70 million.

Based in Barangay Poblacion in Alabel, Alammco had operated an investment scheme for months but was flagged as illegal by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The cooperative was found soliciting investments from the public at a monthly payout of 35 percent through its offices in this city and the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani and North Cotabato. (ia/PNA)

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