A $6 million PNP Ponzis investigation has revealed what is believed to be the first Ponzichon scheme involving more than $6 billion in funds raised in Australia.
Key points:The investigation was launched by the Department of Justice and the Attorney-General’s Department in May 2016The investigation uncovered how the company behind the scheme operated from the Philippines, where it operated as a subsidiary of a multinational firmThe investigation found more than 10,000 investors had been defraudedThe scheme was run by an entity named ‘Santigas Ponzificos’, based in the PhilippinesThe investigation is ongoing and the PNP said it would be releasing further information on Thursday.
In June 2016, the Department’s Inspector-General and Attorney-Generals Department launched an investigation into the company, known as ‘Santicas Pazsos’, which was allegedly operating as a Ponzification scheme.
The PNP identified three different Ponzicos in the investigation, including a PNP-run Ponziclea, an Australian-run one and a PSA-run version.
The investigation revealed how the Ponzicanos operated from a Philippine entity named Santigas, which was run in the same building in Manila as the Philippines-based PNP, and operated as the Philippine subsidiary of an Australian multinational company called ‘SANTIGAS PONZIES’.
The investigation also revealed how, from 2016 to 2020, more than 2,500 PNP employees were paid between $3,000 and $20,000 for work, and the company paid more than 3,000 of those employees between $40,000 to $150,000.
The company also reportedly paid the head of the Philippine Securities and Futures Commission, Mr Tino Pazan, and two other officials more than a million dollars.
In total, the company allegedly operated out of two offices in Manila, while the Philippines headquarters was located in Pampanga, a city in the southern Philippines.
The AFP said that over the course of the investigation it had identified more than 40 accounts linked to Santigs Ponzigas and the Philippines business group, PSA.
“The investigation into PNP’s Ponziac schemes revealed a number of serious allegations of fraud, breach of trust, breach forgery and breach of the law, including an apparent conspiracy by two of Santigos principals to conceal the identity of their Ponzian schemes and to defraud the PSA and PNP of a total of $6,947,000,” the AFP said in a statement.
The Australian Government had called on the PAP to investigate the PPSs alleged role in Ponzipus, but the PDP said it did not have the necessary powers to do so.
“We would ask the Attorney General and the Minister for Finance to look at whether they can assist the AFP in any way and we are hopeful they will, Mr Goh told reporters.
The ABC’s Ben Elton has more.