5 tuna firm execs face estafa raps

MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed estafa raps against officials of a tuna processing company for allegedly duping their investors.

In a 23-page resolution dated March 27 but was released to media on Thursday, facing charges for estafa are executives of Alliance Select Foods International, Inc., namely board of directors chairman George Sycip, son of the late tycoon Washington Sycip, and its directors Jonathan Dee, Joanna Dee-Laurel, Teresita Ladanga, Alvin Dee, Arak Ratborihan and Grace Dogillo.

The seven Alliance executives were indicted based on the complaint filed by the firm's foreign shareholders, Harvest All Investment Limited, Bondeast Private Limited, Victory Fund Limited and Hedy Yap Chua.

All told, we agree that respondents in 01028 (the criminal case filed as NPS Docket No.XV-07-INMV-168-01028) as officers and members of the board of directors acted in concert in the perpetration of the offense charged, read the resolution signed by Justice Undersecretary Deo Marco.

The DOJ also directed the city prosecutor's office of Manila to file the case against the respondents and to report the action taken within 10 days from receipt of notice of the resolution.

The DOJ said Alliance was formed out of an amended rehabilitation plan with the purpose of paying off the creditors of the First Dominion Group of Companies or the Dee Companies but that it is not refuted that the complainants did not have any information of knowledge about it.

However, the DOJ said that had not for the false pretense in painting a 'rosy picture' of Alliance, employed by Respondents Dee and George that their corporation has a lucrative business in the Philippines, as one of the tuna capitals of the world, has business enterprise in other countries and poised to further expanded globally, they would not have parted with their money.

Moreover, had complainants known Alliance was formed to 'bail out' the Dee Companies, they would not have invested their money, it added.

Marco noted the complainants invested to Alliance in 2009 the amounts of P75.25 million, USD65,555.93, PHP170,000 and PHP4,982,947.94.

In 2010, investors were made to part with PHP156,688,885, USD1,191,731.70 and USD1,544,068.68.

Then, in 2012, more investments were made amounting to a total of PHP500,000.

In the same resolution, the DOJ dismissed the case of syndicated estafa and falsification of public documents filed against the respondents for lack of probable cause. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency