Victims laud arrest of investment scam leader

Published November 14, 2020, 9:57 AM

by Philippine News Agency

BUTUAN CITY (PNA) – Several victims on Friday commended the Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 (Caraga region) for the arrest of Dimber dela Cruz Celis, the leader and founder of alleged investment scam Forex Rice Trading Group.

Caraga’s regional police office has announced the arrest of Dimber dela Cruz Celis, 29, the leader of the alleged Forex investment scam, in a police operation conducted in Jaro, Iloilo on Thursday (Nov. 12, 2020). Celis is facing charges for large-scale syndicated estafa. (Photo courtesy of PRO-13 Information Office via PNA)

Celis, 29, was arrested in Jaro, Iloilo on Thursday by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 13 (CIDG-13), the intelligence branch of PRO-13 and the Agusan del Sur Police.

Capt. Dorothy M. Tumulak, PRO-13 public information officer, said Celis, a resident of Prosperided, Agusan del Sur, was the “top 3 most wanted person in Caraga.”

“The Forex Rice Trading Group is involved in the Ponzi scheme that victimized hundreds of individuals here in Caraga and Davao region,” Tumulak said.

A 52-year-old businessman from Agusan del Sur said victims like him were seeking justice and remuneration from Celis and her alleged cohorts, although he was skeptical if they could still recover their money.

“I am not sure if we can still get the amount we invested. But she must be put behind bars for this mess,” the businessman, who asked anonymity for security reasons, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.

He said he lost more than half a million pesos in the Forex investment scam of Celis.

Other victims sought for comment declined to provide details on how much investment they poured into Forex.

Still, they commended the law enforcement authorities for arresting Celis.

They also expressed doubt if they could recover their investments, although they said they would pursue the case against Celis and other suspects in courts.

PRO-13 Director, Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr., said Celis is facing charges of large-scale syndicated estafa in a regional court in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.

In a statement, Caramat said the court recommended no bail bond for Celis.

He said Celis’ location was discovered through a tip-off from a concerned citizen.