Cops, OFWs fall prey to online gold scam
Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The company head is said to be a jetsetter who tools around town in a Ferrari.

Kevin del Mundo Miranda allegedly built a fortune estimated at hundreds of millions of pesos by swindling overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), police officers and young victims through an online scam.

Miranda and six other executives of EmGoldex, later renamed Global InterGold (GIG), face an initial two counts of syndicated estafa filed by two policemen.

Apart from Miranda, also charged in the separate complaints filed before the Manila prosecutor’s office and Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) were Ryan Manuit, Charles Juiz Padilla, Raahbel Ymas, John Rafael Calicdan, Jose Victorio Cajita and Paul Alviar.

Last Nov. 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against EmGoldex, a company apparently based in Dubai and which recruits investors to buy gold online, in turn receiving huge bonuses for referring friends and associates.

The SEC also filed two cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against related entities GIG and Prosperous Infinite Philippines Holdings Corp. (PIPHC).

The SEC said the companies violated Sections 8 and 28 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) for selling or offering for sale or distribution unregistered securities to the public and without a license, respectively.

Upon conviction, each violation of the SRC is punishable with a fine of not more than P5 million or imprisonment of seven to 21 years, or both.

After the SEC issued the advisory against EmGoldex,  it renamed itself GIG. Last August, PIPHC was also incorporated to aid GIG investors who were not able to get a return on their investment.

Earlier this year, the corporate regulator had issued an advisory asking investors to exercise self-restraint in putting their hard-earned money into EmGoldex.

The SEC, in cooperation with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation, conducted an investigation on EmGoldex’s operations.

It found that EmGoldex invites Facebook netizens to invest in its “Pinoy Style Patak-Patak” scheme, promising huge returns on their investment.

An investor who will put up P1,000 ($21.30) is promised profits from P5,000 ($106.50) to P10,000 ($212.99), while an investment of P35,000 ($745.48) will yield P180,000 ($3,833.54) to P360,000 ($7,668.25).

The SEC stressed that both EmGoldex and GIG are not SEC-registered corporations.

According to international media reports, EmGoldex has been banned in other countries.

The SEC said that crimes committed in cyberspace and through the use of information and communication technology carry a higher penalty as provided under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Desperate investors

Supt. Bowenn Joey Masauding, chief of the anti-fraud and computer crime unit of the CIDG, filed the complaint of PO3 Lenin Guinit and PO2 Josegelio Dayrit III, who were victimized by the scam.

“One of the complainants told our investigators that their house was gutted in a recent fire incident and he was looking for ways to earn money to be able to reconstruct their house. Unfortunately, he was victimized anew,” Masauding told The STAR.

There are at least 95 investors who made approximately P2,718,400 ($57,899.65) cash investment in EmGoldex. The estimated return is reportedly at least P11 million ($234,391.64).

 

ACIRC BOWENN JOEY MASAUDING CHARLES JUIZ PADILLA CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMGOLDEX JOHN RAFAEL CALICDAN JOSE VICTORIO CAJITA AND PAUL ALVIAR SEC
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