Couple tagged in Kapa investment scam nabbed in Butuan City

Robie de Guzman   •   November 2, 2021   •   434

A couple allegedly involved with the Kapa Community Ministry International that was accused of engaging in an investment scam has been arrested in Butuan City, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.

In a statement, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar identified the suspects as Samson Amores, 53, and his wife Analita, 46.

The couple was listed as among the top most wanted persons in Butuan City.

The PNP said the two were arrested last October 28 by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court Branch 2 in Libertad.

“I commend the Police Regional Office-Caraga for the arrest of these two individuals who were allegedly involved in the illegal activities of the group. Kailangang harapin nila ang kasong isinampa laban sa kanila sa korte na bunsod ng umano’y panggagantso at panloloko nila sa napakaraming tao,” Eleazar said.

“Magpapatuloy ang pulisya sa pagtugis sa iba pang natitirang suspek sa Kapa investment scam upang panagutin sila sa batas,” he added.

In July 2020, Kapa founder Joel Apolinario and 23 others were arrested in Surigao del Sur.

During that operation, the PNP said a gun battle ensued between law enforcers and members of Kapa, who were armed with high-powered guns.

The Kapa group has been accused of involvement in a Ponzi scheme where it enticed people to give at least P10,000 to the organization in exchange for a 30% monthly return or “love gift” for life. The group was supposedly able to dupe investors in Mindanao of over P10 billion.

Eleazar advised the public not to be easily persuaded into entering any investment scheme that seems “too good to be true.”

“Maging mapanuri at maingat tayo sa ganitong klaseng mga investment scheme na nangangako ng napakalaking balik o kaya ay magaalok ng instant cash na walang kahirap-hirap,” he said.

“Kung kayo ay nabiktima man ng scam, ipagbigay-alam ninyo agad sa mga awtoridad upang aming maaksyunan,” he added.

NBI nabs 5 individuals in investment scam

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested five individuals reportedly involved in investment scams.

The five individuals were arrested during an entrapment operation in Quezon City.

Authorities identified them as Bernie Limpiada and Marvin Ojeda, firm manager Rogelio Fambuena Jr., Glory Ann Pillora, and Sison Inocencio who were alleged owners of Agri-Wealth Farm Ventures, Inc. (Agri-Wealth).

NBI Spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said the investment scam would offer a 160% return of investment within the period of 100 days with a daily profit ranging from 1.6% to 2.5% of the invested amount.

“This is a scam and we are warning the public. Do not engage, (do) not believe in this kind of scam. The name of the corporation is Agri-Wealth Farm Ventures, Inc,” he said.

NBI Anti-fraud Division Chief Palmer Mallari said an informant, the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC), and the Anti-Red Tape Authority reported that the Agri-Wealth Farm Ventures, Inc. is not registered.

It also does not have a secondary permit as a lending company, broker or dealer, and securities for taking investment funds from the public.

“When investors are being invited to attend the investors’ conferences, the investors are made to believe that this is a real, legitimate corporation. Why? There are tarpaulins, there are brochures being distributed, there are offices being presented and officers of the corporation,” he said.

Further investigation stated that the company only began its operations last month and that the victims of the investment scam reached around 50 or close to 100 individuals.

The five individuals have been charged with violations of Sections 8 and 26 of Republic Act No. 8799, the Securities Regulation Code. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

ASOP songwriting festival goes international

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Singers, songwriters from across the globe now has a stage to showcase their masterpiece as A Song of Praise (ASOP) goes international.

The new season of ASOP welcomes amateur or professional songwriters from around the world to write songs of praises for God.

Interested contestants may submit their songs in any language, provided there will be an English translation. The written songs should be unpublished or have not yet been performed or distributed in any platform. Contestants should also submit an MP4 format of their song.

Opening ASOP Music Festival to the international scene was a long-time vision of Bro. Eli Soriano, the man behind the songwriting competition.

During the opening of ASOP International on Sunday (June 6), Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI) Chairman and CEO Daniel Razon said that the launch of the new season is very timely in the face of a pandemic.

“Sa paraan na ito, I guess ay maipararating natin ngayon sa ating mga kapwa tao na dumaranas—hindi lamang sa Pilipinas kundi maging sa buong mundo—ng ating kasalukuyang panahon ng pandemya, na sa pamamagitan ng ASOP International maibsan ang mga depression, anxiety maipakilala ang pagtitiwala sa Panginoon. Maiparating na mayroong Dios at sa bawat awit nakakakita tayo ng nagre-recognize ng kabutihan ng Dios,” he said.

(Through this, I guess we can bring [the songs] to those experiencing—not just in the Philippines, but to the rest of the world—challenges in this pandemic. That through ASOP International it would alleviate their depression, anxiety and teach them to trust in the Lord. Let them know there is a God and that His goodness will be recognized through the songs.) AAC (with reports from Mirasol Abogadil)

Beware of false claims: BSP denies approving KAPA investment scheme

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday denied claims it has approved the investment scheme of Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA).

“The BSP advises the public that it has not released any statement or any issuance concerning the Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA) or any of its affiliates,” the central bank said in a statement.

It also stressed that KAPA is not a BSP-supervised entity.

“This clarification is being issued in view of reports, particularly, on social media, falsely claiming that the BSP has issued a statement purportedly approving KAPA’s investment scheme or questioning delays on its approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),” the BSP said.

The SEC earlier renewed its warning and urged the public to exercise caution and discernment amid false claims allegedly made by KAPA on social media about securing necessary licenses to resume its operations.

READ: SEC warns public against KAPA’s false claims

KAPA also claimed to have filed an application for a secondary license to sell and offer for sale securities.

“SEC has already issued a cease and desist order against KAPA in February 2019 and an order of revocation of its certification of incorporation in April 2019 after KAPA was found to have been soliciting investments from the public without the necessary license, and that its investment scheme qualifies as a fraud and a Ponzi scheme,” the central bank said.

SEC records show that KAPA registered as an independent religious organization in March 2017 indicating its headquarters in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.

Under its scheme, KAPA enticed the public to “donate” P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly “blessing” or “love gift” for life, without having to do anything other than shell out money and wait for the promised payout.

But based on the SEC’s investigation, KAPA promised its members billions of pesos in returns but its assets cannot back up such claims.

The SEC previously issued an advisory against Kapa for unauthorized soliciting of investments.   

Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code, provides that “securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Commission.”

Section 26 of the Code further prohibits fraudulent transactions, including Ponzi schemes where investors are lured with impossibly high returns and paid using money contributed by other investors

Section 28 further states that no person shall engage in the business of buying or selling securities in the Philippines as a broker or dealer, or act as a salesman, or an associated person of any broker or dealer unless registered with the SEC.

In light of this, the SEC said those acting as salesman, broker or agent may be prosecuted and held criminally liable. They may also face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both, pursuant to Section 73 of the Securities Regulation Code.

Last June, the SEC filed criminal complaints against KAPA, its founder and other officials involved in the scheme.

In the same month, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the freezing of several bank accounts and other assets linked to Kapa upon the petition of the SEC and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

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