Couple Involved in $17.3 Million Bitcoin Scam Arrested in the Philippines

Apr 10, 2018 at 22:47

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has arrested a couple in Manila for allegedly scamming as much as $17.3 million (PHP 900 million) from Bitcoin investors.

PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa said that members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested the suspects in an entrapment operation conducted last week.

He noted that suspects identified as Arnel and Leonady Ordonio were able to convince up to 50 people to invest in Bitcoins promising investors with a 30-percent return of investment with pay outs every 15 days.

CIDG chief director, Roel Obusan added that the couple used a company called NewG using a pyramiding scheme offering investors with an option to pour in $1,700 (PHP 90,000) and $3,000 (PHP 160,000) per slot.

Authorities exposed that NewG is only registered as a computer café and not as an investment company.

Obusan said that the CIDG charged the couple with syndicated estafa but expressed that they are still considering to upgrade the case to economic sabotage. He also mentioned that aside from the couple, they are also searching for other uplines that were highly involved in the scam.

Meanwhile, dela Rosa said that the couple may have scammed more than the accounted $17.3 million as more victims who are yet to surface are expected to file additional claims.

The PNP said that the suspects lured investors in the Bitcoin scam as the digital currency’s price surged to nearly $20,000 last December from $963 in January 2017.

Recently, Bitcoin’s price ranges between $6,500 and $7,000.