MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has arrested 19 people allegedly involved in an illegal cryptocurrency scheme and warned Filipinos against dubious investments.
The PNP’s Public Information Office (PNP-PIO) said Tuesday their Cyber Response Unit along with composite teams from the Quezon City Police District and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) conducted an operation last June 11 to entrap the suspects in a hotel in Cubao, Quezon City.
The police did not give details about how much money was siphoned from the victims or what cryptocurrency platform was used, but PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao said it would be best if people would be skeptical of the high return of investments that often turn out to be fake.
The PNP-PIO disclosed there are schemes where scrupulous individuals would ask people to place funds on unregistered cryptocurrency platforms, only to find out that the transactions were illegal.
Danao urged the public to first check with the SEC if a corporation or an institution is authorized to offer investment opportunities.
“We would like to remind the public not to fall prey to this too-good-to-be-true business, promising a huge amount of return within a span of time. If you encounter anything like this, don’t hesitate to report to authorities,” the PNP leader said.
The 19 suspects were placed under the custody of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group, and are set to face complaints in violation of Sections 8.1, 26.3, and 20.a of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
This is not the first time that cryptocurrency platforms were barred from operating in the country. Last May 21, SEC called on the Astrazion Group to stop its supposed illegal cryptocurrency-themed investment scam.
SEC issued a cease and desist order against Astrazion Noble Task Community Foundation, Astrazion Global Holdings Philippines Inc., and Astrazion International for engaging in the unlawful/unauthorized solicitation, offer and/or sale of securities until it has filed the requisite registration statement and secured the necessary approval from the SEC.”
READ: SEC halts crypto-themed investment scam
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