By LITO RULONA
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regional director lawyer Renato Egypto was disappointed after founder of Freedom Trader’s Club and an alleged online group organizer Mark Freeman did not arrive at the investigation conducted by the Cagayan de Oro City Council’s Committee on Trade, Commerce and Industry Thursday.
Egypto said failure of Mark Freeman to attend the investigation despite several notices that were sent him could already be a manifestation that they engaged in internet fraud in the city and other nearby provinces in Northern Mindanao.
“Ngano wala man sila mitunga for them to explain through the committee level how they engaged monetary business or virtual business. We will accept their explanation and even assist them to legalize their transaction,” he said.
Earlier, an urgent investigation was called by the Committee chairman George Goking into the alleged proliferation of online business scam like a “Ploutus Coins”, an association called it “Freedom Traders Club” (FTC).
The initial investigation on Thursday was attended by SEC regional office 10, Department of Trade and Industry – 10 (DTI-10), Police Regional Office – 10 (Pro-10) Cybercrime Unit, City Legal Office (CLO), City Administrator’s Office (CAO), City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) and several Ploutus Coins investors.
Goking called for another round of meeting and investigation next week to inform and sent notices to other Mark Freeman addresses.
He said there no yet conclusion on the investigation and through proper proceedings and due process, the committee will again sent notices to all possible address and businesses engaged by Mark Freeman.
“We will ask them what their processes of business are, if they appear before the committee and even would assist them to legalize their virtual business transactions. We only address the public to be cautious in engaging such kind of business especially when it was not registered with any government agencies concern,” he added.
The committee initially finds that address of Mark Freeman including his business partners were located in barangay Gusa, Nazareth and Cugman.
“We also conducted our initial investigation when they conducted launching ceremonies in Limketkai complex. It all started in another money business called Auto Trade which is also run by Mark Freeman.
They diverted their business to Ploutus Coin when they got complaint on payout proceedings,” Egypto said.