Philippine Police have reportedly raided the offices of Grapefruit Services Inc, which was suspected of running a cryptocurrency scam, and arrested 277 Chinese Nationals involved in the alleged scheme. The information about the scam was reported to the Philippine police by the Chinese Embassy.
It has been reported that according to the embassy, the firm was suspected of an investment scam that had affected “thousands of Chinese citizens” and China has abolished the passports of the company’s workers. As a result, the Grapefruit employees have been declared illegal workers.
Illicit Activities under CEZA License
Grapefruit Services Inc is a service provider authorized by ‘The Golden Millennial Quickpay’, a cryptocurrency firm, which was allegedly registered for the project under a special license accepted by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), as reported by a local news outlet Inquirer.net.
Instead of being a CEZA-registered project, Grapefruit operated outside of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone (CEZA) and Freeport, where it is licensed to conduct business.
The case has expressed the Philippine Bureau of Immigration to closely check the operations of other companies with Chinese workers advocating overseas entities that provide cryptocurrency and other financial products.
Making Preparations for Cryptocurrency
Earlier this year, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) postponed the issuance of official regulations concerning initial coin offerings (ICO), although the draft bill has been proposed since August 2018.
However, the PSEC asserted in the draft that the tokens emitted during an ICO be classified as securities and therefore “should be registered with the Commission and necessary disclosures need to be made for the protection of the investing public.”