MANILA - A cease and desist order (CDO) has been issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a Zamboanga-based company that allegedly swindled P244 million from investors in Visayas and Mindanao.
Aman Futures Group Philippines, according to the SEC's findings, is allegedly engaged in pyramiding or Ponzi scheme by been soliciting investments from public and promising a rate of return from 15 percent to as high as 40 percent.
The SEC has already directed the company and its incorporators, and agents to stop offering, selling and/or soliciting investments from the public, said SEC chairman Teresita Herbosoa.
The SEC will also look into the possible criminal liabilities of the company and its incorporators.
An investigation by the SEC showed that Aman Futures is inviting investors, especially low-income earners, to invest their money in the company, which in turn invests in a Malaysian company engaged in commodity trading futures, such as manganese, palm oil, nickel, etc.
Aman Futures promises to return the investor’s principal plus profit ranging from 15 percent to 40 percent at the end of the 20- or 30-day period. Due to this promise, investors are reportedly lining up in Aman Futures’ office in Zamboanga to investor their money
“It appears that what lures investors parting with their money is the promise and corresponding expectation of high returns or profit,” SEC said.
While Aman Futures is registered with SEC, it is selling securities or investment contracts that are not registered with the corporate regulator. At the same time, Aman Future is likewise acting as a broker/dealer without being registered as such, the SEC said.
SEC also said that Aman Futures cannot engage in the business of commodity futures because public trading of commodities futures is currently suspended.
Amalilio, a Filipino of Malaysian descent, is allegedly a long-time trader in futures commodities in Malaysia and Japan.
Aside from Amalilio, other incorporators of Aman Futures include Fernando R. Luna, Lelian Lim Gan, Eduardo Lim, William L. Fuentes, Naezzelle M. Rodriguez, and Lurix Lopez.
Herbosa said that the SEC has been receiving reports of possible irregularities being committed by Aman Futures. However, only a few people are willing to file a complaint because of fear that they will not be able to recover their investments in the company.
The SEC has been warning the public to be over cautious in investing their money in what appears to be a high- yield risk investment which may turn out to be a fraudulent scheme.