The local authorities in the Philippines have arrested the officers of a cryptocurrency scam who were targeting investors in China.
According to the report, the agents from the Bureau of Immigration, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Police’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group have conducted raid at Grapefruit Services Inc, which is in Pasig City on 11th September.
The officials arrested 277 Chinese during the raid in Pasig city as they were suspected of using duplicate cryptocurrency operations with the investors in China.
The operation was conducted by Bureau of Immigration on Grapefruit Services Inc. on the 37th floor of the “One Corporate Center” in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Grapefruit is an offshore cryptocurrency company licensed by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza), which is an official service provider of Golden Millennial Quickpay Inc. Ltd.
Grapefruit Inc. was registered under Ceza locator, but it was operating from Metro Manila. According to the sources, it was operating outside the ecozone’s jurisdiction, which had become a general tendency in a few months.
The officials from Ceza had been approached to answer the press on Sunday.
According to the further sources, Grapefruit had a capital of $1 million, who has occupied the three stories of the Ortigas building. There were 227 employees working for it, and everyone had Ceza visas. This means that the employees were not allowed to work within the economic zone of Cagayan premises.
As per the Security and Exchange Commission, Grapefruit is forbidden from doing any activities such as a securities broker or dealer or act as an investment adviser or as an investment company. It is also prohibited from operating on fiat money and virtual currencies.
The immigration authorities from the Philippines have started to keep a closer watch on such kind of operations where the Chinese workers give support to the offshore companies, who are dealing with cryptocurrency and financial products.
Since last year, Ceza has granted a license to more than 20 offshore firms who are engaged in this so-called financial technology solutions and virtual currency exchange. They had hired the local service providers, and all of them are registered under Ceza.
The raid in Pasig was conducted by the agents of the Bureau of Immigration’s fugitive search unit, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Philippines National Police’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group along with the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.
Jaime Morente, the Immigration Commissioner, said that the raid was quickly conducted with the help of the Chinese Embassy on the investment scam, who had illegally obtained money from thousands of Chinese nationals.
Earlier, there was an order to arrest only four Chinese nationals from the Immigration Chief, but the authorities caught 273 suspects under the charge of illegal online operations.
Morente said that Government of China had cancelled all the passports of the arrested employees, considering them illegal employees working in the Philippines.
Ceza was formed to become the hub for cryptocurrency, and the revenue it earned was to recover it lose from Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogos), who was legalized by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation in 2016.
Last year, Ceza had earned $200 million from the licensing fees of the offshore financial technology firm. Ceza had earned $3.9 billion from the first batch of 25 licenses and had created 20,000 jobs. Its principal licenses are operated from Metro Manila, but all the transactions are done through LR Data, which is a cyber park in Santa Ana, Cagayan.
Some of the companies attached to Ceza are Formosa Financial Holdings, Sino-Phil Economic Zone Agency Development and Management Corporation, Asia Pacific International Ltd., Hong Kong Yuen Shing-Hong Ltd., Tanzer Inc. and Rare Earth.