19 Individuals Arrested for Illegal Crypto Scheme in the Philippines

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Nineteen individuals allegedly involved in an illegal cryptocurrency scheme were arrested by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in an entrapment operation in Cubao, Quezon City last June 11. Following these, the police force advised the public to avoid dubious investments.

“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,” –Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao

According to the PNP’s Public Information Office (PNP-PIO) the operation was conducted by their Cyber Response Unit along with the teams from the Quezon City Police District and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The police did not disclose the total amount siphoned from the victims or what cryptocurrency platform was utilized, but PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao stated that it would be best if investors would be skeptical of the high return of investments that often turn out to be fake.

As per the PNP-PIO, there are investment schemes where scrupulous individuals would ask people to place funds on unregistered cryptocurrency platforms, only to find out that the transactions were illegal.

Danao reminded and urged the public to always check with the SEC if a corporation or an institution is authorized to offer investment opportunities.

The 19 suspects, on the other hand, 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.

Last month, two individuals working under  Big Dreams International (BDI) and BDI Product Trading OPC were apprehended by the PNP for a multimillion-peso investment scam using cryptocurrency. (Read more: 2 Nabbed for Multi Million-Peso Investment Scam Using Crypto)

In April, 13 Chinese men were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Parañaque for being allegedly involved in a scheme that uses mobile dating applications, such as Tinder, to swindle young professionals into opening accounts with cryptocurrency wallets Binance and Metamask. (Read more:3 Chinese ‘Tinder Swindlers’ Leveraging Crypto Caught in Paranaque)

This is not the first time that cryptocurrency platforms were banned from operating in the Philippines. SEC have been actively warning the investing public from getting involved with fishy investments by consistently issuing advisories.

Last month, the Commission issued a cease and desist order to Astrazion Noble Task Community Foundation, Astrazion Global Holdings Philippines Inc., and Astrazion International and warned them to stop its “Fraudulent Investment Scheme”. (Read more: SEC Issues Cease and Desist Order Against Astrazion Group, AZNT Token

Moreover, the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and SEC have always been keen on reminding the public that they must do their own due diligence before engaging with cryptocurrency and they are still firm that they do not encourage people to invest in it. (Read more: BSP, SEC Do Not Encourage the Public to Invest in Crypto)

Further, in October last year, the SEC signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center to strengthen efforts to combat cybercrime activities in the country. (Read more: SEC to Boost Fight Against Cybercrime)

This article is published on BitPinas: 19 Individuals Arrested for Illegal Crypto Scheme in the Philippines

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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