Press Releases

Salceda wants Financial Crimes Units in investigation agencies; House tax chair encourages scam victims to work with law enforcement agencies

December 17th, 2021

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) wants the country’s crime investigation agencies to establish financial crimes units, in response to what he says is “a rise in financial scams and incidents, which comes as people have a little extra money from Christmas bonuses.”

“This happens every year. It’s time we get tougher on financial crime enforcement. And it’s time we have policing and law enforcement agents that are capable of understanding financial crimes and pursuing cases to completion.”

Earlier this week, Salceda wrote Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG) Director Albert Ignatius Ferro to forward a complaint he received from constituents scammed of a total of P32 million. Salceda says his constituents have complained to the CIDG about a certain Ma. Ledwina Oca Realo and Jesus Rey Realo who promised them 25% monthly returns on investment.

“It was too good to be true. But the lack of financial education and accessible financial consumer protection mechanisms means many people don’t even know what’s too good to be true,” Salceda said.

Salceda says that there “is truly a need for a financial consumer protection framework for the country. We don’t have one comprehensive law for the protection of buyers and sellers of investment products.”

Salceda is the principal author of House Bill No. 6768, which includes fundamental protections for consumers of financial products, and allows the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to pursue civil action on behalf of scammed consumers.

However, Salceda says, “the proposal can still have more teeth by adding provisions that create financial crimes units in the police and investigative agencies.”

Salceda cited the example of local police departments in the United States that have Financial Crimes Units.

“It should be very clear to potential scammers that if they do it, they will get jail time. That is why we need criminal investigation units that are capable of really prosecuting financial crimes,” Salceda said.

“As for our complaint with the CIDG, I hope they are able to respond with urgency. As Ways and Means Chair, with oversight of the financial agencies, I will help,” Salceda added. (end)

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