NBI arrests investment ‘scam’ suspect in Bacoor

Published September 29, 2020, 4:23 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

A man engaged in an investment scam has been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after duping a victim of over P1.5 million.

NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric Distor on Tuesday, Sept. 29, announced the arrest of the suspect whom he identified as John Carl Michael Lualhati.

Distor said in a statement Lualhati was arrested Sept. 23 in Bacoor City in Cavite during an entrapment operation conducted by agents of the NBI National Capital Region (NBI-NCR).

Following his arrest, Distor said Lualhati was charged for estafa in violation of Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

The suspect was arrested based on the complaint of a complainant who alleged having lost P1,567,000 to Lualhati.

The complainant recounted that he contacted the Lualhati through a Facebook advertisement page concerning investment opportunities being offered by Filipino Investors Corporation (Fil-Invest) which was later renamed Hedge Chance (HC) Holdings.

After being convinced to invest due to promises of huge returns, the complainant gave the suspect in tranches a total of P1,567,000 which included money he got from his family, friends and co-workers.

“Thereafter, the complainant inquired from the subject regarding the payment of the interest on their investment but subject Lualhati failed to comply with his obligation of paying the interest to the complainant,” the NBI said.

“The complainant was then compelled to pay Php 793,500.00 to his family, friends, and co-workers as the payment of the interest of their investment,” it added.

Supecting a scam, the complaint inquired with the Bacoor City Business Permit and Licensure Office which issued a certification that neither Fil-Invest or HC Holdings were registered legitimate businesses in the city.

After learning this, the complainant sought the help of the NBI in arresting Lualhati who had recently been asking P100,000 as investment in Solaire Hotel and Casino Resort in Pasay City.