TAGBILARAN CITY—At least 300 residents in Bohol province have sought the help of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to recover at least P2 billion which they lost to people behind a new scam.

Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap tasked the National Bureau of Investigation and the CIDG to investigate the matter as the provincial legal office stepped in to help the victims of what they called as “repa” or “paluwagan,” an informal group money-lending system.

The same financial scheme has also victimized at least 50 people in the Davao region.

Simplicio Sagarino, chief of Davao City’s Anti-Scam Unit (ASU), said about 50 people had filed complaints with his office, with some of them claiming to have invested as high as P10 million.

Sagarino said what lured many of the investors was the high returns received by those who joined the scheme earlier.

In a statement on Monday, Yap said at least 150 affidavits had been filed by “buyers and sellers” of the investment scheme.

Quick return

A help center supervised by the provincial government, the police, and the CIDG was put up to assist the victims. Yap urged other investors to file their complaints in municipal police stations in the province to avoid congestion at the center.

The scam takes off from the paluwagan, a traditional money-saving practice among groups whose members know one another, either because they are officemates or friends or they belong to a clan or family.

Members usually…

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