In a significant development, a 23-year-old individual known as Vance Joshua Tamayo, self-proclaimed as the "crypto king," has been apprehended in Parañaque City, Philippines. Tamayo, along with his associate Gerome Laries, stands accused of orchestrating a cryptocurrency scam that allegedly swindled at least P100 million from unsuspecting clients. The arrest was made possible by the diligent efforts of operatives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The CIDG director, Maj. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., disclosed that the arrest occurred in front of a prominent casino and entertainment complex located along Aseana Avenue in Barangay Tambo at approximately 4:30 a.m. Caramat further explained that the operation stemmed from a complaint filed by a businesswoman hailing from Makati City.
Taking swift action in response to the complaint, law enforcement authorities initiated an entrapment operation against Tamayo in Makati on a Tuesday evening around 8:35 p.m. Unfortunately, both Tamayo and Laries managed to evade capture during this initial attempt. However, a determined follow-up operation conducted in Parañaque bore fruit as the suspects were apprehended the following day.
The CIDG's investigation into the matter unveiled a disturbing modus operandi employed by Tamayo. He had purportedly presented himself as a cryptocurrency genius, luring unsuspecting individuals with the promise of substantial returns on their investments. Under his scheme, Tamayo guaranteed a monthly interest rate of 4.5 percent to potential investors.
The gravity of the situation became evident when over ten individuals came forward, collectively reporting losses exceeding P100 million at the hands of Tamayo. Among these victims, one woman claimed to have lost a staggering P11 million to the alleged scam artist.
According to Col. Thomas Valmonte, the head of CIDG's legal division, Tamayo would initially deliver on his promises by providing returns on investment for several months. However, he would subsequently cease all communication with his clients, leaving them in financial turmoil.
Disturbingly, there are unverified reports suggesting that Tamayo may have victimized even police officers. As the investigation unfolds, the authorities are meticulously examining these claims.
Tamayo and Laries are now facing charges related to large-scale estafa, a legal term for fraud or swindling on a grand scale. The arrest of the self-proclaimed "crypto king" serves as a stark reminder of the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments and underscores the importance of due diligence when considering such financial endeavors. The case is a testament to the commitment of law enforcement agencies in combating cryptocurrency-related crimes and bringing those responsible to justice.