12 employees of unregistered investment company arrested in entrapment

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2018 10:20 PM

MANILA—The Philippine National Police Anti Cybercrime Group and the Securities and Exchange Commission arrested in an entrapment operation 12 employees including a Singaporean allegedly enticing the public to invest in their company, which is not registered under SEC.

PNP ACG operatives and SEC personnel posed as potential investors during the seminar conducted by GDM Financial Sarl. 

According to Atty. Jose Aquino, director of the enforcement and investor protection department of the SEC, GDM Financial is unregistered. 

“The company itself is not registered. The product is unregistered and those that are selling they are also not registered,” Aquino said.

“They were trying to sell an investment contract. They have been enticing the public to invest their money to them. And this money will be invested so they will be buying preferred shares that are traded at the New York Stock Exchange.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission said the group first posted its public invitation to invest via social media.

“There was a surveillance that was conducted because we have received tips from our informants that there is such as solicitation of a company representing itself to be Switzerland based. So they’ve been soliciting in public places,” Aquino said.

“They’ve been soliciting investment with a guarantee monthly interest. During the presentation they were really trying to entice investors. In fact, it starts with testimonials from supposedly investors who have made money,” he added.

The company offered P68,000 investment with weekly earnings and potential pay out of P200,000 if investment is left untouched for two years. 

The SEC enforcement and investor protection department said even if there were no complainant, they conducted a preemptive measure to avoid people from getting duped. Since the company is unregistered, investors will not be able to run after their money should problems arise. 

“Talagang hindi mo mahahabol iyan, because even those that are registered with us, mahirap mo pa rin habulin if they are not registered with us,” Aquino said.

“The fact that these are unregistered, there is no public disclosure. We believe in importance of full disclosure. You got to disclose all the information so that the public will be able to make a decision. There, it appears that the focus is only the money that you will be gaining, nothing more. They are not telling you who are the people manning. They will just tell you, that this is a Switzerland-based company. There was not much about the product.”

Aquino said investments scams are expected during this time of the year especially when people have money in their hands. 

“You expect there will be more scams. December there is much money in the hands of the public, and they would like to multiply the purchasing power of their money,” Aquino said.

SEC advised the public to check if the companies they are investing their money in are legitimate and registered under the SEC.