POEA warns OFWs against high-yielding investments

Published September 20, 2018, 5:59 PM

by iManila Developer

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were warned by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) not to deal with persons or entities that offer “high-yielding” investments without the necessary permit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

(FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)
(FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

The POEA issued the warning after a group of OFWs in Dammam and Al Hassa in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reported that they were recruited by Sangguniang Masang Pilipino International Incorporated (SMPII), a Philippine-based non-profit organization and encouraged them to make an investment with ALMASAI Finance and Investment (now ALMASAI Equity Holding Corporation).

In a statement, the POEA based on the statement issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said the OFWs were required to put an initial investment of P50,000 with a guaranteed interest of 5 percent each month.

ALMASAI which has an office address in Cubao, Quezon City, allegedly even issued 13 post-dated checks — 12 checks for the monthly earning of the investment and the 13th check as payment of capital investment.

“The workers, after making investments reaching up to Php100 M, are now complaining that they are no longer receiving any of the promised interests and have lost contact with Tanaliga. They alleged that the checks issued supposedly for their monthly earnings were declined by the bank due to insufficient fund,” said POEA.

According to the POEA, the SC said ALMASAI Finance and Investment is not an SEC-registered entity as a corporation or as a partnership and was not also issued a secondary license as a broker and/or dealer of securities, dealer in government securities, investment adviser of an investment company, investment house and transfer agent.

“It has not filed nor has any pending application for primary and secondary licenses with the Commission,” it said.

Despite having been registered with the Commission as a corporation, POEA said ALMASAI Equity Holdings Corp., is not authorized to solicit investments from the public as the said entity has not secured the necessary secondary license or permit from the Commission as required under Sections 8 and 12 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

“It is also engaged in ultra vires act, or beyond one’s legal power or authority, for doing business not in accordance with its purpose of incorporation, which constitutes serious misrepresentation as contemplated under Presidential Decree 902-A,” it said.

“The SEC said those who invite or recruit other people to join or invest in this venture or offer investment contracts or securities to the public including solicitations or recruitment through the internet, may likewise be prosecuted and held criminally liable,” POEA added.

Based on Section 73 of the Securities Regulation Code the penalty for offenders is a maximum fine of P5 million or 21 years of imprisonment or both.

 
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