Regulator files complaint versus Abra Mining

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has filed a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice (DoJ) against Abra Mining and Industrial Corp., its directors, officers, transfer agent, and certain stockholders for alleged unauthorized and fraudulent trading of shares from 2015 to 2019.

The SEC charged the respondents with 441 counts of violations of Section 8 and 26 of Republic Act No. 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), and Sections 61, 62, and 63 of Republic Act No. 11232 or the Revised Corporation Code (RCC), the commission said in an e-mailed statement over the weekend.

The commission filed its complaint-affidavit with the DoJ on May 3.

The SEC also asked the DOJ to institute civil and criminal forfeiture, including the accessory penalty of asset preservation, and other appropriate actions against the respondents under Republic Act No. 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

According to the commission, the complaint stemmed from discrepancies in the number of Abra Mining shares registered with the SEC for public offering, those listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), and those lodged with the Philippine Depositary and Trust Corp. (PDTC).

In an April 8 decision, the SEC’s Markets and Securities Regulation department imposed over P560 million worth of fines against the respondents after being found guilty of violating the SRC and RCC.

The commission also revoked the company’s registration statement and certificate of permit to sell securities. At the same time, it disqualified the officers and directors from performing similar functions in SEC-supervised financial intermediaries and issuers of securities.

In March 2021, the PSE halted the company’s trading after it was found selling stocks beyond the number of its listed shares.

The market operator recently initiated the involuntary delisting of Abra Mining from the local bourse following the violations found by the SEC. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave