NBI raids networking company, seizes P1.5-M goods, equipment

·2 min read

ABOUT P1.5 million worth of goods, networking equipment, and supplies were confiscated by the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7) from a networking company during a raid Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

The raid was conducted at the MTC Shang Building on ML Quezon Highway, Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

The company was identified as JSTORE Innovation Worldwide Corporation.

Agent-in-charge Arnel Pura told reporters in a press conference Thursday, May 26, that the company has over a thousand employees in its 114 branches nationwide.

The company started operating in 2016, and its main branch is the one located at MTC Shang Building.

Pura said the raid was made after receiving several complaints from members that the company defrauded them of their investments under the pretext of a multi-level marketing scheme.

According to the complainants, they invested P10,000 to the company in exchange for selling its products such as coffee, liniments, balms, juice mix drinks, health supplements, soaps, and cosmetics.

But what lured them to invest was the promise of the company that their money would double within 100 days regardless of whether the goods worth the value of their investment are sold or not.

Their income does not also depend on their downlines as long as they can maintain their investment, Pura said.

One of the investors who refused to be named said the company forced them to re-invest another P10,000 after reaching the minimum investment amount, but the promised bonus from their investment was never given to them.

According to lawyer Vicente Felizmenio Jr., director of the Securities and Exchange Commission, JSTORE Innovation is not authorized to solicit investment from the public.

He also stated in a certification issued on May 18, 2022, that its president has no license or registration to act as a capital market professional such as broker, dealer, and investment solicitor.

This led Presiding Judge Ruelo Saladaga of Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court Branch 69 to issue a search warrant against the company on May 25.

During the raid, five of JSTORE Innovation's employees were brought to the NBI 7 office for an investigation.

They are Kervin Aringo Valiant, Evageline Dignos, Ma. Leizel Radana, Mark Jose Gerez and Arley Lapi-an.

JSTORE president Joil Dela Cerna Ocay and vice president Jorge Elvin Tampus, however, were not around during the raid.

The company will face charges for violating Republic Act 8799, otherwise known as The Securities Regulation Code, Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and syndicated estafa under Presidential Decree 1689. (HIC, TPT)

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