CA finds no evidence of complicity: World Balance scion and Lyka app founder Bren Chong cleared of drug raps

By Nancy Carvajal

The Court of Appeals has cleared World Balance scion and Lyka app founder Bernard “Bren” Chong of any involvement in the failed drug smuggling attempt at the Manila International Container Port in 2019.

In a 28-page decision, the CA’s Special 17th Division said Chong, the chief executive officer of Bren Esports, was no longer connected with Fortuneyield when the alleged drug importation took place.

“From a careful re-evaluation of the records of this case, we find that there is substantial basis to hold that there is no prima facie case against herein petitioner (Chong). There is no ounce of evidence which establishes probable cause of petitioner’s complicity to the crime charged, whether in conspiracy with the indicted Co, et al or otherwise,” the CA’s decision read.

Chong filed a petition for certiorari before the CA in July 2022 questioning the decision of a Manila court which named him as one of the accused in the botched smuggling of illegal drugs.

The businessman submitted to the court a notarized certification and other documents showing that he already transferred his shares at Fortuneyield long before the firm reportedly tried to smuggle illegal substances.

With the dismissal of the charges against Chong, the arrest warrant issued against him has also been invalidated.

The CA order was written by Associate Justice Bonifacio Pascua, Associate Justices Louis Acosta and Jennifer Joy Ong concurred with the ruling.

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