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SEC blocks initial coin offering of Calata-owned firm

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By Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered to stop the initial coin offering (ICO) of a company owned by controversial businessman Joseph Calata and told it to immediately cease and desist from selling and offering cryptocurrencies.

To be exact, SEC on Friday ordered Black Cell Technology Inc., Black Sands Capital Inc., Black Cell Technology Limited and Krops to immediately cease and desist from selling and offering for sale KROPs Tokens and KropCoins or any other of the same nature.

The agency also warned that administrative and criminal actions will be instituted against persons or entities who act as solicitors, information providers, salesmen, agents, brokers, dealers in behalf of the mentioned companies.

The Cease and Desist Order (CDO) issued by SEC revealed that the subject companies are either owned, headed or associated with Joseph Calata, the same person who was permanently disqualified by the Philippine Stock Exchange from being  Director or Officer of any listed company.

Calata is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Calata Corporation, which was delisted from PSE for securities law violations.

Also, SEC filed in 2017 with the Department of Justice a criminal complaint against Calata Corporation and its officers and directors for making  false and misleading statement with respect to a material fact in violation of Section 24 of the Securities Regulation Code.

Based on the result of its latest investigation, SEC said it has found that Calata’s Black Cell operates a website, mykrops.com, which advertises the business of KROPS and publicly offers tokenized shares.

In the website, Black Cell claims KROPS as be the world’s first agriculture marketplace crypto equity initial coin offering (ICO) and the “the largest agricultural hub that brings you the future of global agriculture, a marketplace for agricultural products that connects buyers to sellers that are within close proximity.”

To be exact, the company undertakes to redeem tokens in exchange for its own equity shares. As of now, it has already sold 2.3 million tokens for $0.70 US dollars apiece, based on its website.

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