Search warrants issued vs groups in investment scam

AUTHORITIES have implemented 12 search warrants on groups involved in investment scams, Philippine National Police - Directorate for Intelligence director Brig. Gen. Ferdinand Divina said yesterday.

Divina said they have teamed up with the National Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission to dismantle investment companies and corporations allegedly involved in scams.

Among the subjects of the search warrants were the Organico Agribusiness Ventures Corp. based in Cebu City, the Ada Farm Agriventures in Mandaue City, Cebu;  and Rigen Marketing and Ever Arm Any Marketing.

The official said  several search warrants were issued against these groups, including five from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group,  and seven from the National Bureau of Investigation.

The search warrants were issued in Regions 2, 7, 8, 11, 13.

“ So, as you see, this is on a nationwide scale because this is really a concern,” Divina said.

Maj. Gen. Amador Corpus, director of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said most of the companies and corporations have initial permits from the SEC, which enabled the firms to be considered a corporation.

What the companies don’t have is the secondary permit to allow them to engage in the sale of securities or more commonly known as investment.

“Most of these companies have permits from the SEC as a corporation. The violation mostly is on the secondary permit, the sale of securities. The first permit is for them to be able to operate as a corporation. They need a secondary permit to engage in the sale of securities or what we call investment,” the official said.

Corpus said the PNP found documents that proved the operations of the investment companies and corporations.

He said the documents will be used in the filing of cases against the investment firms for violation of the Securities Regulation Code.

He added that the PNP will assist the SEC in the filing of charges against the concerned companies.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said educating the public is a must to strengthen the campaign against companies involved in pyramid scheme.

Albayalde said the groups lure unsuspecting victims to invest money with a promised return of 15 to 400 percent interest a month.

“No matter who you ask, may it be the SEC, the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) or any businessman, earning 15 to 400 percent interest monthly from your invested money is impossible,” the PNP top cop said.