A Provincial Board (PB) member believes that the Torralba syndicate from Mindanao operated with a Bohol-based associate when they allegedly carted away at least P2.6 million worth of assorted goods and vehicles which they obtained through fraudulent transactions with Boholanos.
Board Member Ricky Masamayor, during a joint panel inquiry of the PB’s committees on peace and order and trade and industry into the largescale scam on Wednesday, said he is convinced that the swindling syndicate led by Feliza Torralba was aided by a Bohol resident.
According to Masamayor who chairs the PB’s committee on peace and order, the Bohol-based associate was likely privy to crucial information on the establishments and individuals victimized by the criminal group.
The Torralba Group’s insider knowledge may have helped the suspects succeed in amassing the millions worth of merchandise mainly by issuing bouncing checks to the victims and allowed them to evade authorities, Masamayor said.
The board member also based his assessment on the incursion of Abu Sayyaf bandits into Inabanga town last April wherein they were led by Bohol native Joselito Melloria, noting that the Torralba Group may have also had a local to guide them.
Meanwhile, other provincial lawmakers including Board Members Alexie Tutor, Elpidio Jala, Abeleon Damalerio and Dionisio Victor Balite who also joined the investigation supported Masamayor’s statement.
Earlier, the Bohol Provincial Police Office through its director Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad also noted that they are looking into possible involvement of a Bohol-based suspect who may have helped Torralba’s group in easily moving into Bohol and fleeing the province when authorities were alerted.
Police are also considering the possibility of existing connections between the criminal group and a person linked to the shipping company used by the suspects to enter Bohol and leave the province escaping back to Mindanao. (R. Tutas)