By LITO RULONA
THE Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) has joined the city council’s trade committee and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in calling on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the activities of Freedom Traders’ Club founder Mark Freeman as it strongly denied giving his Ploutos Coin scheme the green light.
Councilor George Goking, chairman of the city council’s committee on trade, said Ceza issued a statement , denying that it issued a license to Freedom Traders Club, Ploutos Innovation Corp. or Ploutos Innovation Limited, or to Freeman or any of his associates or entities that engage in marketing, selling or operation of Ploutos coins.
Goking said the statement was issued after the committee further checked Freeman’s group.
He said the next move would be for the NBI to act.
Ceza, a government-owned and controlled corporation tasked to manage and supervise the development of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, asked the NBI to conduct an investigation into all the entities associated with Freeman in response to the alleged use of Ceza’s name to nake it appear that Freeman’s group were issued a Ceza Offshore Virtual Currency Exchange licenses.
Photographs of Ceza officials, including that of Ceza administrator Raul, were allegedly used to give the impression that Freeman’s group has the support of the Authority.
Ceza said photographs of Freeman with Lambino were circulated to imply that the Freedom Traders’ Club founder has been working things out with Ceza.
Ceza said what happened was that Ploutos Innovation Limited, allegedly a company registered in Hongkong with one “Mark Steven Freeman” as a shareholder, applied for for a regular OVCE license on Aug. 9, 2018.
Ceza said it was conducting its requisite probity check on Ploutos HK, its shareholders and its activities. It said Ceza is ready to reject any application found to be engaged in fraudulent or illegal transaction.
“We have a zero-tolerance against any person or company that will use a Ceza license or the name of Ceza to defend them in public. We are ready to immediately cancel the corresponding licenses or initiate the necessary legal action with the appropriate government agencies including the NBI, SEC and BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), should we discover unscrupulous individuals or companies doing this,” Lambino said.
He said there is no Filipino company, Filipino or Philippine resident allowed to apply for a Ceza OVCE license.
If licensed, the licensee is not allowed to sell securities to Filipinos or to exchange tokens into fiat currency, unless they are registered with SEC or the BSP, respectively, he said.