18,500 Dinagat residents victimized by pyramiding scam – NBI

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 Oct0 – At least 18,500 people have fallen victim to a pyramiding scam in Dinagat Island, according to National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-13.

NBI-Caraga Regional Director Mario F. Sison told MindaNews that cases have been filed against 14 officers of the group Dinagat Island Padayon Pagkaon Association, Inc., (DIPPAI), including its chairman, Jaime Segubre.

Problem is, Segubre and company can no longer be located, the NBI official said.

Sison said thousands of people in Dinagat have deposited huge amounts of money because of the thought that they could get double or triple in interest.

Every member of this group, he said, are obliged to pay at least P310 as membership fee and for the passbook. Furthermore, members were told to make huge deposits, Sison added.

Gabriel C. Falcon Jr., special investigator III of NBI-Caraga, said many people have been fooled by this group.

“A lot of poor people even sold their carabaos just so they can invest because they believed that they can get bigger money in return in a span of just a few days. But as it turned out, they were scammed,” he lamented.

Falcon said some victims have invested at least P800,000.

One victim who requested not to be named told MindaNews that he has deposited P30,000 in January this year but until now he never got the money back.

He was among the dozens who sued DIPPAI officials headed by Segubre.

Nieves A. Honoridez, records officer of the Provincial Prosecutors Office in Surigao del Norte, said cases against the people behind the scam have been filed since last July, and at least 56 cases have already been filed so far. She said a lot more will be filing cases.