NBI readies charges against officials of Kapa Community Ministry Int’l

Marje Pelayo   •   June 12, 2019   •   4093

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) operatives raid a Kapa office following reports of involvement in investment scams

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is preparing the charges to be filed against the executives of the religious organization Kapa Community Ministry International, the group allegedly behind the largest investment scams in the country.

“We are preparing the appropriate complaint against the founder and other officers of Kapa,” said Atty. Antonio Pagatpat, NBI’s Deputy Director for Operations Service.

Those involved in the said investment scam may face charges for large-scale estafa.

The NBI has raided 14 Kapa offices through search warrants issued by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 20 for violating Sections 8 and 26 of the Securities Corporation Code of the Philippines.

The offices were located in Taytay, Rizal; San Geronimo in Bagbag, Nueva Viscaya; in Compostella Valley and in Cebu.

The agency also raided the house of the group’s founder, Joel Apolinario in Saranggani province.

The NBI said they have not arrested any member of the group but they have confiscated several documents, records, books and equipment.

“Wala tayong na-arrest dahil (No arrests have been made yet because) when our teams reached all offices of Kapa, they were already non-operational, closed. But we were able to seize some vital evidence,” Pagatpat said.

NBI agents were also able to recover cash amounting to P2.2 million and P300,000 from two different Kapa offices.

Based on the NBI’s initial investigation, the leaders of the controversial group were allegedly collecting donations amounting to P5,000 under 30% interest rate per member.

For its part, the group assured to cooperate with the investigation of authorities regarding the controversy. (with reports from April Cenedoza)

Negosyante at internet personality Francis Leo Marcos, hinuli ng NBI

Robie de Guzman   •   May 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Inaresto ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ang negosyanteng si Francis Leo Marcos dahil sa umano’y paglabag sa optometry law.

Ayon sa NBI, hinuli si Marcos ngayong Martes kaugnay ng kinakaharap nitong kasong paglabag sa Republic Act 8050 o ang Revised Optometry Law sa Baguio City.

Dinakip ng NBI Cybercrime Division si Marcos sa bahay nito sa Quezon City sa bisa ng warrant of arrest na inilabas ng korte sa Baguio.

Taong 2010 pa umano naisampa ang reklamo at noong February 2018 lumabas ang warrant.

Wala pang inilalabas na detalye ang NBI ukol sa kaso ngunit ayon kay Marcos, nag-ugat umano ang reklamo sa pamamahagi niya ng libreng eyeglasses at pagsasagawa ng libreng checkup sa mata nang walang permiso mula sa Philippine Optometrist Association.

Bukod sa nasabing reklamo, sinabi ni NBI deputy director Atty. Ferdinand Lavin na nahaharap din si Marcos sa kasong paglabag sa Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Act na isinampa noon pang 2006.

Nahaharap din ito sa kasong exploitation at paglabag sa Republic Act 9262 o ang Violation against Women and Children Law na isinampa naman sa Gapan, Nueva Ecija.

Dagdag pa ni Lavin na iniimbestigahan na rin nila ang totoong pangalan ni Marcos.

“Also we are in the process of investigating his true identity because we have been receiving reports that he had been named before as Norman Mangusin,” ani Lavin.

Pinabulaanan naman ni Marcos ang mga alegasyon laban sa kanya,.

“Talaga pong tayo’y napag-iinitan lang pero wala naman pong problema patutunayan natin sa korte yan lahat ng alegasyon na yan,” ani Marcos.

Bukod sa pagiging negosyante, isa ring internet personality si Marcos dahil sa kanyang videos sa YouTube channel na may mahigit isang milyong subscriber. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspendent Dante Amento)

NBI urged to take down online pages promoting sexual exploitation of children

Robie de Guzman   •   May 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to put a stop to social media pages that sexually exploit children following reports of continuing exploitation of children even amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In an open letter addressed to the NBI, Hontiveros said her office received reports that there are still pages on Facebook and other online sites that are actively posting indecent photos of female children.

“Nakarating sa opisina ko na mayroong mga Facebook pages kung saan naka-post ang napakaraming mahahalay na larawan ng mga babaeng bata. Matagal na ang mga Facebook page na ito ngunit active pa rin daw ang mga posts at groups,” she said.

“Ngayong COVID-19 pandemic, may mga reports na nagsasabing pwedeng mas dadami ang kaso ng online sexual exploitation of children. We need to be more vigilant and make sure that our children are safe and secure, online and offline,” she stressed.

Hontiveros appealed to the bureau to probe and takedown these pages, as well as find and prosecute the people behind these social media accounts.

“Nananawagan ako sa Bureau na imbestigahan at agarang i-take down ang mga Facebook pages na ito. Kailangan malaman din ng NBI kung sino-sino ang mga taong nagpapatakbo nito. Kailangang panagutin at ipakulong ang mga kriminal na nasa likod ng mga Facebook pages at online content na ito,” she stressed.

According to the senator, Facebook also needs to be made accountable for allowing these pages.

“The tech giant, with all its resources, should have technologies and mechanisms in place that prevent these kinds of pages from existing. Sobrang nakakabahala na hanggang ngayon, may mga ganito paring nangyayari sa platform na ito,” she said.

She also called on the public to remain vigilant in ending online sexual exploitation of children by reporting these pages to authorities.

“Kailangan nating protektahan ang online space bilang mga safe spaces. We need to make sure that our children are safe online, lalo na ngayong mas marami ang oras na ginugugol nila sa social media,” she said.

NBI warns against proliferation of cybercrimes amid ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Scammers are increasingly active these days especially with everyone practically living in cyberspace due to lockdowns in different parts of the world.

In the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has warned the public of the rise in cybercrime as the national government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) limits movement outside of residence.

With almost all services migrating online, scammers are taking advantage of online platforms to pursue their schemes.

Such is the problem of Jodel Merjudio who operates an online travel agency.

Merjudio reported to UNTV’s Serbisyong Bayanihan that some scammers created an impostor account of his enterprise’s Facebook page.

It only came to his knowledge when one of his clients told him about an alleged representative of his travel agency who transacted and asked money from that client on his behalf.

Part of the scammer’s modus operandi is to block the clueless victims from its fake page once payment is received.

The victims are then led to Merjudio’s official page to follow up on transactions that the latter had no knowledge of.

“Ang nangyayari, iyong kliyente pag nag-search sila sa Facebook, dalawa ang lalabas na agency. So kami ang nako-contact nila kasi naka-block na sila doon sa scammer page,” Merjudio said.

Jodel said he initially reported the incident to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 4A Cybercrime Division.

To assist Jodel, Kuya Daniel Razon contacted Atty.Victor Lorenzo of the NBI’s Cybercrime Division who agreed with Jodel’s initial move of reporting the incident to proper authorities.

The official promised to help Jodel in identifying the perpetrators behind the impostor account and to eventually resolve the case.

“Kunin nila ang mga contact details [ng kliyente] at kung makipag-ugnayan sila sa amin ay iyon kasi ang hihingiin namin (Get the contact details [of the client] so when you come to us, those are the details that we would be asking],” Lorenzo said.

Kokontakin namin sila para malaman kung ano ba ang mode of payment? Paano ang money ay transmitted? Bank to bank? Kasi ang best lead natin kung sino ang nag-create ng fake account ng travel agency (We will ask them what the mode of payment was; how the money was transmitted; and was it bank to bank? Our best lead would be the creator of the travel agency’s fake account),” he added.

Atty. Lorenzo said incidents of online travel agency scams have already dwindled for some time but since the country is under lockdown, scammers have again started to become active online. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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