Senate mulls probe into alleged P900-M Bitcoin investment scam

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2018 01:16 PM

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MANILA - A senator on Friday said he is mulling an inquiry into the alleged P900-million Bitcoin investment scam, following the arrest of a couple supposedly behind the illegal scheme.

Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara said he wants to know how large the alleged investment scam is and if additional laws or amendments to existing ones are needed to stop this.

In the 2015 Mastercard Financial Literacy Index, the Philippines ranked second to the last in Southeast Asia. An Asian Development Bank study also says the country has no national strategy on financial education. 

Last week, couple Arnel and Leonady Ordonio, owners of the company NewG, were arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group following complaints by their "investors."

Chief Supt. Roel Obusan, head of the CIDG, said the couple would ask people to invest in their Bitcoins, promising them 30% interest in 16 days.

He said the suspects would pay the interest at first before stonewalling their clients in what he calls a classic case of estafa and pyramiding. 

Police said the couple amassed around P900 million, based on "raw capital" or the amount of money that the victims claimed to have invested in the company in question. 

Authorities are still looking for the couples' "uplines" or key investors who also got investments from other people, promising them larger returns.