AUTHORITIES arrested 31 people related to the operations of a group called Roses 4 U, which was found to be illegally soliciting online investments.
Operatives from the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Anti-Money Laundering Council, served separate search warrants at the Roses 4 U’s office in Cavite and Pasay City.
The SEC had found the group’s agents to be soliciting online investments in foreign exchange and commodities trading, bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, as well as stocks and indices from foreigners through an online portal.
“Roses 4 U makes it appear to foreign investors that their accounts are existent and active when in fact said accounts were fake and actually being manipulated by “Roses 4 U” officers and agents in violation of Section 26 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC),” the commission said.
Section 26 of the SRC states that it is unlawful to “employ any device or scheme or artifice to defraud,” or “obtain money or property by means of any untrue statement of a material fact of any omission to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading.”
The SRC further prohibits people to “engage in any act, transaction, practice or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person.”
The SEC noted that while Roses 4 U is registered as a corporation with the commission, it does not have the license to offer or sell securities, nor were the securities being offered or sold registered with the commission.
Six people from Roses 4 U’s Cavite office were arrested during the operation, where authorities also secured pieces of evidence such as computers, SIM cards, and assorted documents.
At Roses 4 U’s Pasay office, 25 people were apprehended, while gadgets and material evidence used for their investment scam operations were seized.
“The SEC takes very seriously its mandate to uphold the laws it administers. We will enforce the law against these financial scammers,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said in a statement.
“(W)e take this opportunity to warn the public against such investment schemes as we advise them to immediately report the same to the SEC and to refrain from investing their money without first checking with the SEC as to the legitimacy of the investment scheme being offered,” Mr. Aquino added. — Arra B. Francia