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NBI nabs 2 for fake STL operations

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation yesterday raided an establishment inside the Libertad public market in Bacolod City and arrested two persons for collecting bets for Small Town Lottery without a franchise from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Atty. Renoir Baldovino, agent-in-charge of NBI-Bacolod, disclosed that they received information on illegal operations of a fake STL outlet that offers bigger cash prizes for winning bets.

Baldovino identified the two arrested suspects as Reynne Magbanua Lopez and Arjens Arro Esbida, both residents of Bacolod City, who were collecting bets.

Upon verification with the PCSO national office, he said they were found to be operating without any franchise or permit.

Baldovino said they are now in the process of identifying financier of the illegal gambling outlet, which he suspects to be part of an illegal gambling syndicate in Negros Occidental.

Based on information they gathered, Baldovino said they have been operating since last week.

Recovered from the two arrested suspects were assorted illegal gambling paraphernalia and P1,500 in cash bets.

NBI investigations further showed that those behind in the fake STL operations are also operating in different areas of Negros Occidental.

There are reports that the illegal gambling outfit has the codename ‘Vikings”.

The two arrested suspects are now detained at the NBI custodial facility in Bacolod City, pending the filing of charges against them for violating Republic Act 9287.*

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