STARTING January this year, the Davao City Anti-Scam Unit (ASU) received a total of 62 investment scheme complaint cases.
ASU head Simplicio Sagarino said that as of February 26, they continue to receive complaints since President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered the immediate lockdown of illegal investment schemes in the country.
“Timing ang pag-declare ni Presidente (Duterte) sa Kapa (Community Ministry International Inc.) tungod mas nagkadaghan ang mga complaints nga nadawat sa atong opisina (The President’s pronouncement against Kapa’s operation had further strengthened our office’s operation. Since then, we have been receiving complaints),” Sagarino said.
Duterte, in June last year, criticized Kapa for its fraudulent activities such as engaging in the selling or offering for sale or distribution of securities to the general public without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Department of Justice (DOJ) recently filed criminal charges against Kapa, its officers and promoters with the regional trial courts in Bislig City, Quezon City and Rizal.
Sagarino said most of the complainants are not from Davao City and had reached out to their office to seek legal action.
He said his office had already referred the cases to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the Investigation Division and Management Branch (IDMB), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“Ang ato mandate man gud sa ASU (ASU’s mandate) is only to assist complainant or victim sa scam, and refer sa law enforcement agencies,” the official said.
Despite the government’s effort in putting down these fraudulent investment schemes that purport to deliver extraordinarily high returns on investment to lure victims, Sagarino said they continue to receive reports of their underground operation within and outside Davao City.
Sagarino recently reported 42 firms illegally transacting investment schemes. These are Kapa, Rigen Marketing, A21 Marketing, Dreamers, Dreamzion, Diamond Essential Products, Eden Marketing, King Elise Marketing/Network Solutions, Casino Financing, Crowd Royal, Dragon One, Genesis Company, Gold Skin and Health International, JACAMA Sales and Marketing, Jogle Innovative Marketing, LSM Wellness Product Trading, Davao Ponciano Cooperative, Credit Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CPMC), Shoppers Circle, PEDVEL/PEDCO, Global Intergold (Online), ENCO, Ever Arm Marketing, Gambaro Trading & Consultancy, Jogle Innovative Marketing, JY Marketing, LUCKY 9, Majestic Point Marketing, Nermie Health and Beauty Products Trading, Omega Trading, Premier Oil PLC/JMACl, Crowd Funding, Skinline, Snapcash, Sovereign Success Business Company, Tagum Pay, Triple 8 Trading, United Program, Victorious Mortuary & Allied Services, GILDASH Investment, Global Fusion Network, and High Class Trading.
Most of them were already issued a cease and desist order for not complying with the necessary city permits.
Since 2016, ASU recorded a total of 2,456 scam-related cases. He said 1,761 cases were reported in 2016, 24 cases in 2017, 33 cases in 2018, and 576 in 2019. The data also includes those in January this year.
However, he said these cases are not limited to investment schemes as it also includes illegal medical practices, and falsification of legal documents.
Sagarino, meanwhile, warned the public to be vigilant in entering these “too good to be true” money schemes.
He also encouraged them to visit their office or visit the SEC website to determine if a certain firm is authorized to offer investments.