News – PH – NBI to expand the “Pastillas” fraud probe


MANILA, Philippines – Justice Minister Menardo Guevarra yesterday tasked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with expanding its investigation into the new “lozenges” system whereby foreigners pay bribes to illegally enter the country / p>

Guevarra said he would like the NBI to identify the “cohorts of fixators” among the Bureau of Immigration (BI) staff so that appropriate administrative and criminal charges can be brought against them. Both the NBI and BI are under the Justice Department

He issued the order after the NBI arrested Vivian Lara, who was reported as an employee of a law firm after allegedly receiving money tagged in BI attorney Arnulfo Maminta’s office, Lara allegedly received 900000 pesetas from three Chinese to help them enter the country

Gerald Geralde, head of the NBI special commission, previously said the new system will involve Chinese citizens who give upfront bribes for processing their travel documents

BI spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said they are conducting an investigation to identify those behind a “mutation” in the Pastillas scam

“We will also be investigating our staff as to why (the) alleged incident happened on the office premises,” Sandoval said when asked to respond to the NBI’s recent containment operation

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National Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice

News – PH – NBI to expand the “Pastillas” fraud probe