Investment scam leader arrested in Marawi

CAGAYAN DE ORO  CITY (MindaNews / 27 Nov) – The alleged mastermind of the Rasuman group, who initiated the investment scam that victimized powerful politicians and rich families in Lanao del Sur, was arrested by National Bureau of Investigation agents in Marawi City this afternoon.

Lawyer Virgilio Mendez, NBI deputy director for regional operations services, said alleged mastermind Jacob “Coco” Rasuman did not resist arrest when NBI agents backed by police and Army soldiers came to arrest him in his house in Barangay Panggao Saduc in Marawi City Tuesday afternoon.

Rasuman had been hiding in his residence for several months under the protection of the Lanao del Sur provincial government, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army after he failed to meet the payments of his investors starting last March.

A convoy of more than 10 vehicles of NBI agents, policemen and Army soldiers brought Rasuman to the NBI regional office to wait for the 9 p.m. flight to Manila.

“That is the setup by the local authorities in Lanao del Sur to protect him from the angry investors,” Mendez said.

Mendez said Rasuman left for Manila tonight aboard an Air Philippines flight upon orders of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who directed that the suspect will be detained at the NBI central office in Manila upon arrival.

Covering his face with a white towel, Rasuman was presented to the media when he arrived at the NBI regional office in Cagayan de Oro City this afternoon.

He declined to answer questions from the media and was checked for blood pressure by an NBI doctor after he complained difficulty in breathing.

Mendez said  Rasuman was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by Regional Trial Court Judge Bonifacio Macabaya in Cagayan de Oro City for syndicated estafa for allegedly defrauding his investors of more than P7 billion pesos.

“We still have to dig for the paper trail where he invested the money he allegedly got from his victims,” Mendez said.

He said they are also checking reports that Rasuman invested in the Aman Futures Group, Inc., another investment scam in Pagadian City, at the time he was desperately seeking money to pay his investors.

“The difference between Aman and Rasuman was that Rasuman’s victims are mostly powerful politicians and affluent families in Lanao del Sur. Aman’s victims are retired government employees, teachers, vendors … ordinary folk in Pagadian City,” Mendez said.

Mendez said more than 20 persons have already filed complaints against Rasuman in the courts of Cagayan de Oro and Tagaytay City. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)