Iloilo City businessmen lose money to scam

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2013 03:05 PM | Updated as of Jun 28 2013 11:05 PM

ILOILO CITY – Several Chinese businessmen in Iloilo City have allegedly fallen victim to a financial scam, and lost billions of pesos worth of investments.

The victims said they lost their money to Evergreen Finance (Iloilo), Inc., which is led by fellow businessman Reynaldo "Wilky” Navarro, the president of the company.

According to some of the victims’ legal counsel, a case of syndicated estafa has been filed against Navarro at the Iloilo City prosecutor’s office. However, they will withdraw this and instead file the case at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Based on information from a source, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima has created a team of prosecutors that would handle the case.

At the moment, the victims have no idea what happened to the money that they invested in Evergreen Finance.

Bad for business

Iloilo City Trade and Investment Board Chairman Felix Tiu said the financial scam will slightly affect Iloilo City's economy. Since the businessmen have not recovered their investments at Evergreen Finance Company, they can no longer conduct business in the city.

However, Tiu said that despite the scam, Iloilo City's economy grew by 20 percent. Iloilo City even ranked second to Makati City in Metro Manila in terms of number of banking institutions.

Tiu added that the incident may serve as a lesson for businessmen to scrutinize the companies where they would like to invest their money, especially as financial scams have become common. It is safer to deposit money in stable banks, he said. - Report from Joyce Clavecillas, ABS-CBN Regional Network Group