No complaints yet vs Kapa Ministry on fraud allegations, NBI says

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2019 07:44 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2019 09:00 PM

The NBI said it could not file complaints for large-scale or syndicated estafa against Kapa Ministry, because no one has come forward to claim damages, a key element in an estafa charge. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday acknowledged there are no complaints yet against Kapa Community Ministry International (Kapa Ministry) over an alleged investment scam affecting some 5 million Filipinos.

“Wala pang private complainants or victims na gustong mag-file ng reklamo laban sa Kapa kasi nakakatanggap pa sila ng interes na 30 percent na pinangako ng Kapa,” NBI NCR regional director Atty. Cesar Bacani told reporters at a press conference.

Based on the NBI’s investigation, Kapa members are supposedly promised a monthly lifetime return of 30 percent of their initial “donation,” with P10,000 as minimum for every member.

But Bacani insisted the setup is unsustainable.

“Alam naman natin na eventually, 1 or 2 months, ’pag wala nang nag-i-invest d’yan, wala na siyang ipangbalik,” he said.

The NBI said it could not file complaints for large-scale or syndicated estafa because no one has come forward to claim damages, a key element in an estafa charge.

Instead, the NBI will file complaints for violation of the Securities Regulation Code against key officers of Kapa Ministry and all those who actively participated in the scam.

Kapa Ministry members held prayer rallies across the country condemning the closure of their offices, highlighting the fact that no one has so far complained about their “donations.”

“Kahit sabihin mo pusa, pusa, pusa, kung ’yan ay aso, aso pa rin ’yan,” Bacani said, saying the group could not hide behind documents declaring the transactions as donations.

“Donation pero practice nila investment,” he said.

'PRE-EMPTORY MOVE'

NBI spokesperson and deputy director for investigative services Atty. Ferdinand Lavin justified the bureau’s move of securing search warrants within a matter of 2 days covering Kapa Ministry offices across the country as a “preemptory move” and credited President Rodrigo Duterte, who called the authorities' attention over the group's activities.

“We should be thankful we have a very smart President. Preemptory move ito. Kadalasan dito, we would jump into the picture as a reactionary move. Pumutok na, nakatakbo na, naitakbo na rin ’yung investments,” he said.

“This time around, very seasoned lawyer and prosecutor that he is, nakita niya na ’yung endgame nito. So he ordered the NBI to immediately close and conduct operations and investigations on the activities of nitong scams na ganito.

“Because of the directive of no less than the President, we deemed it na mas maganda siguro prevention rather than cure,” Bacani said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission earlier revoked Kapa Ministry’s license and warned the public against investing in its “donation” scheme.