Teacher scams colleagues worth of millions in 'bigasan” investment business

MANILA, Philippines - A teacher duped his colleagues in investing millions for a “bigasan” business, which turned out be a scam.

Gail Lobo, a former professor, pointed at his co-teacher and friend Nomer Malenab for convincing them to invest in his rice business.

Teacher scams colleagues worth of millions in 'bigasan” investment business
Nomer Malenab scams colleagues in "bigasan" business | Screengrab: ABS-CBN News video

Lobo said she started by investing P2 million back in 2016. She didn't think twice in investing such a huge amount of money because Malenab presented a notarized memorandum of agreement. Malenab also was able to give back the agreed money plus 10% interest.

Lobo said, “Hindi kami maka-hindi kasi kaibigan namin siya.”

It was in August 2017 when Malenab said he needed P38 million to send rice in Marawi City.

Lobo again invested and even included her mother's money to raise P5 million. Fourteen more teachers invested their money to help raise the needed P38 million.

After four months, around December, Lobo and the other investors started worrying when they lost contact of Malenab. He could no longer be reached through his number and his bank cheques started bouncing.

The group decided to seek assistance from National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). It was there that they learned Malenab has an existing warrant of arrest for an estafa case.

Atty. Melito Santos Jr, investigator assigned to the case explained, “Nanghihingi siya ng investor sa rice trading tapos magbibigay ng return of investment na 10 percent per month. Sa simula good naman 'yung bayad tapos after ng some time bigla na lang mawawala siya.”

Lobo was so devastated but she tried to appeal to Malenab to return their hard-earned money. She said, “Please lang ibalik mo 'yung pera ng nanay ko, ibalik mo rin 'yung pera ng ibang mga tao, please lang.”

Tips to avoid being victims of investment scams

SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong warned the public to be wary of their investments. He gave some tips on how investors can protect their money:

The most basic tip is to know everything about the business. “You need to inform yourself, you are responsible for your investment. You need to know what you are investing in. You need to know who you are dealing with,” Amatong said.
  • Deal only with licensed, reputable people
  • Go to their offices
  • Ask for documentation and receipts
  • Verify if returns promised are possible
  • Know the investment risk

— Sally, The Summit Express

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