SEC steps up info drive vs investment scams in Mindanao
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — The Davao Extension Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has enhanced its information drive against investment scams as it noted their increase in southern and central Mindanao.
The illegal investment solicitations persist despite continuing SEC advisories and anti-scam campaigns by other government offices.
On Tuesday, law enforcers in Santo Tomas town, Davao del Norte arrested five individuals for allegedly taking investments from the public even without regulatory permissions.
The report of the Santo Tomas Municipal Police Station did not identify those who were arrested but said they belonged to a group based in the town, promising would-be investors high returns.
The SEC confirmed that the group under the name Daily Profit Marketing Consulting Office, led by a man known only as Mario, did not have a permit to operate nor a license to solicit investments from the public.
According to the police report, law enforcers arrested the five suspects as they were collecting supposed investments in their office in the town.
Based on the flyer of the group, which the police seized, the office in Santo Tomas is its fourth, the others being in the cities of Tarlac, Cagayan de Oro, and Cotabato.
The same flyer showed that an investor would get twice their investment in 20 days and thrice in 30 days with a daily payout.
The sources of the income, it added, were an investment in cryptocurrency, rice retailing, and “charity donations with backup funds.”
The SEC in Davao also confirmed that one of the three entities earlier flagged by the agency had a presence in Mindanao.
SEC was referring to E-Ton Trading, also known as Eton Phil Trading and E-Ton Trading Profit Sharing. The SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department warned that the firm was using a Ponzi scheme to lure investors.
The entity was among those that the advisory identified as soliciting investments from the public without the necessary requirements.
Others identified using similar schemes were the Moneyfescent Global Ventures OPC (one-person corporation) and Zydex Trading.
Allegedly selling frozen products, the entity claimed, based on social media posts of its administrators, that those investing between P5,000 to P100,000 may earn between 20% to 50% each month, depending on the length of the lock-in period chosen.
Investors are also lured by a so-called rebate bonus of 5% for fresh cash-ins.
The agency said the entity, which was not registered nor granted a license to solicit investments, seemed to use funds from new investors as a bogus profit to previous investors.
The agency warned firms and individuals illegally soliciting investments that they would face cases in court.
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