By Jeffrey Damicog
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is expected to arrest members of the Kapa Community Ministry International soon for their possible involvement in alleged investments scams, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Monday (June 10).
Guevarra said the NBI has begun to make its move against the religious ministry upon the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ongoing operations now. Expect arrests to be made soon,” Guevarra said in a text message.
Over the weekend, Duterte ordered both the NBI and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to shut down Kapa due to allegations it has been illegally collecting investments.
During his radio interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, the President said what Kapa is doing is clearly a pyramiding scheme since the money are collected from its members and give it to the pioneering operators of the group.
“When it is too good to be true, it is fraud,” Duterte warned.
The President said it was impossible for a group to give 30-percent monthly interests to investments because banks here and abroad could only give a maximum of three-percent interest per year.
”Ito kayong mga Pilipino, ilang beses ko na kayong sinabihan na, pag ang – what is being promised to you, is something like heaven, walang bangko dito or maski Bank of America can afford to pay P30, 000 every month for your P100, 000 investment (I told you Filipinos many times, that never believe in this kind of scheme especially if their promise is like giving you heaven, no banks even the Bank of America can afford to give you P30, 000 monthly interest for your P100, 000 investment), ” Duterte explained.
He emphasized that the interests received by its members were just drawn from the money of the newly recruited members who were also drawn into investing in the pyramiding scam.
Last February, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a cease and desist order against Kapa to stop soliciting investments without the proper license.
SEC said Kapa Community founder Joel Apolinario had been charged with syndicated estafa in relation to the investment scheme but the case had to be dismissed for lack of interest of the victims to pursue the case.
It stated that there was already sufficient evidence to support its allegations that KAPA was engaged in offering for securities for sale to the public through indiscriminate or random offering online via videos, promoting its investment scheme to potential investors without prior registration.
The Commission also took note of its findings that the investment scheme of KAPA had the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme as it promised an exorbitant rate of return with little or no risk at all to investors.