CEBU

Organico, Kapa investors assured they will still get payouts

CRACKDOWN. Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7 personnel raid on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, the offices of Ada Farm Agriventures (above left) in Barangay Guizo, Mandaue City, and Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp. (above right) in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City, where they find the pig mascot Baby Nico. The Securities and Exchange Commission says the two firms are accepting investments without a license and promising incredible returns. (SunStar photos / Allan Cuizon (left) and Alan Tangcawan (right))

INVESTORS of Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp. and Kapa- Community Ministry International Inc. have been assured by company representives that they will continue to get their payouts despite the crackdown against these firms for offering unregistered investment schemes.

On Tuesday morning, June 11, 2019, personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 and the Anti Cyber-Crime Group (ACCG) 7, with representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), conducted three simultaneous raids against Ada Farm Agriventures and Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp. in Cebu and Bohol.

The National Bureau of Investigaton 7 raided Kapa’s office in Compostela, Cebu a day earlier.

Personal communication

In the case of Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp., investors have been told to communicate with their “uplines” to get details on how to get their payouts.

Originally, Organico investors who needed to pick up their payouts in cash simply accessed their personal “dashboard” in Organico’s website to make the request for a payout. The dashboard served as a personal account detailing the amount of money an investor had invested and the subsequent return he would get over a period of time.

Santi (not his real name), who joined Organico in December 2018, said this has already been deactivated following the controversy.

He said a group chat was created in the online Facebook Messenger where investors and an “upline” will talk about how they can go about claiming their payouts.

Santi said the upline refers to the “recruiter” of Organico.

He said it will be their “upline” who will communicate with them personally on how to go about receiving the payout.

Santi said he is not bothered by the ongoing crackdown on Organico because they were given assurance by co-investors and the management of Organico that they would not renege on their contract to pay them the promised returns.

Another Organico investor, who declined to be named, said they were given assurance by the chief executive officer (CEO) that the company will not turn its back on them.

Angel (not her real name) said those who are expected to get their payout after their initial investment 90 days ago, were told to wait for 10 more days while the company has to settle with the SEC.

“The CEO asked us to wait for 10 days, saying there would be no payouts for now since there is still a problem with the SEC,” she said in Cebuano.

Angel invested P36,000 for an equivalent of 10 pigs. She is scheduled to get her payout of P60,000 in August.

Kapa

Another investor who spoke with SunStar on condition of anonymity said Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc. investors were assured by Pastor Joel Apolinario, through the religious group's regular radio program earlier Tuesday morning, June 11, 2019, that the firm will not close and will resume operations after 10 days, presumably upon expiration of the court order to seize and close them.

On Tuesday morning, the CIDG 7 confiscated documents and other paraphernalia from the two offices of Ada Farm in Barangay Guizo, Mandaue City.

A search warrant was issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 20 Judge Marivic Umali on June 7, Friday, against Ada, owned by a certain Adrian Dominic Ang, for violation of the Securities Regulation Code.

Authorities were able to seize draft contracts, official receipts, logbooks, bank books, security cameras, transaction forms, telephones, personal computers, calculators and other office supplies from the two offices of Ada. They also secured an empty vault.

At around 9 a.m., a few hours before the raid in Ada, a separate group of CIDG 7 agents also confiscated paraphernalia and documents from the office of Organico in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

Police Lt. Col. Hector Amancia, Assistant Regional Chief of CIDG 7, said the Organico branch in Tagbilaran City, Bohol was also raided.

On June 10, Monday, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 and the Philippine National Police, as authorized by a search warrant released by Judge Umali, also raided the office of Kapa in Barangay Poblacion, Compostela, Cebu.

Last Monday, June 10, SunStar Cebu checked on another office of Organico, the one on A.C. Cortes St. in Mandaue City. But it was “closed for renovation,” as indicated by a sign posted outside its office. A piece of paper with investors’ names, contact numbers and payout dates was left on a table in front of the office.

During Tuesday’s raid, no member of Ada’s staff showed up.

Amancia said Ada officials possibly knew beforehand that a search warrant had been issued against them.

“We were not able to confiscate any money, meaning to say, they were already aware of our operations,” he said.

He called on the investors to formally file a complaint if they want to claim their investments.

“The mere fact that they have violated the Securities Regulation Code, SEC will represent as the complainant against Ada owners,” he said.

Ada has its offices in the first and third floor of the North Atrium Building in Mandaue City.

The third floor operates as its pay-in office while its separate office in the first floor caters to payout transactions.

Lawyer Darwin Sotto, SEC Securities Counsel II, said Ada Farm Agriventures is not registered with SEC as a corporation or as a partnership and is not authorized to offer, solicit, sell or distribute any investment/securities.

He said they initiated an investigation against Ada after they received various reports and queries about the capability of Ada to operate as an investment or security firm.

Ada reportedly operates in Caloocan and Bulacan as well, he said.

Rico, not his real name, 34, one of the investors of Ada, who was outside the Ada office during the raid, told SunStar Cebu that he was able to invest P30,000 in Ada.

According to him, Ada entices the public to invest by purchasing a minimum of 10 chicks worth P500 with a guaranteed profit of 80 percent in 60 days.

“I was enticed by my friends to invest. I think this investment scheme is already known to many. So far, I am yet to receive any communication or advisory from Ada as to when I can claim my payout. I don’t even have a contact of them nor any idea as to where their farm is. I also do not know what to do next,” he said.

On the other hand, Organico is SEC registered but does not have authorization to take investments.

In its May 21, 2018 advisory, the commission stated that Organico “is engaged in soliciting investment in at least 10 shares, with one share costing P1,800. For every share, an investor gets P450 every 15 days or a total of P2,700 in three months.”

Sotto, however, could not confirm if Ada and Organico are owned by the same personalities.

Amancia said they will continue to monitor Ada and Organico to make sure that they cannot branch out to other areas.

“If they opt to reorganize, we will still go after them as it is the directive of President Duterte,” he said. (VLA, WBS, from AYB of SuperBalita Cebu)


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