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British trio arrested for allegedly running ‘boiler room’ investment scam

Andrew Robson, Graham Allan Bennet and Dominic Whellams are accused of running a ‘boiler room’ sales scam. Picture by Lyn Rillion, via The Inquirer

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested three British men, along with 35 of their staff, for allegedly running a ‘boiler room’ investment scam.

A press briefing at the NBI headquarters in Manila presented Andrew Robson, Graham Allan Bennet and Dominic Whellams, who were arrested by an anti-cybercrime team at their office in Carmona, Cavite.

Robson was a company consultant while Bennet and Whellams served as trainer and IT expert at Plustel Solutions Inc, The Inquirer has reported.

The NBI said they would be charged for violation of the Securities Regulation Code in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

A statement from the NBI said: “Verification with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed Plustel’s lack of authority to offer securities, there being no prior application for secondary licence from the commission.

“The company does this through its responsible officers and focal personnel to sell nonexistent bonds, securities, debentures and similar products to unsuspecting investors outside the Philippines.”

Along with the British men, 35 Filipino employees allegedly caught in the act of selling securities were placed under arrest, while 172 others were also brought to the NBI for investigation and verification.

They were said to be engaged in a so-called “boiler room operation”, which, according to SEC Director Jose Aquino, is a way of selling largely worthless securities through high-pressure sales tactics.

Boiler rooms are usually set up in inexpensive office spaces, where telemarketers make calls to randomly selected prospects claiming to be representing substantial well-founded companies.