FBI Arrested Pastor Quiboloy’s Church Administrators in the US

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FBI agents cover a fence on the grounds of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles, Jan. 29, 2020. Richard Vogel/AP
FBI agents cover a fence on the grounds of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles, Jan. 29, 2020. Richard Vogel/AP

Three administrators of Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name (KOJC), a religious organization based in the Philippines, was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday for the alleged trafficking and fundraising scam in Virginia and California. The FBI agents raided the KOJC offices in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, and Glendale and arrested the members named Marissa Duenas, 41 years old, Amanda Estopare 48 years old, and Guia Cabactulan, 59 years old.

Complainants said that these 3 members of KOJC are using children’s foundation to recruit members from Asia and use them to collect money on the streets as part of a 6-year fundraising scam. These 3 administrators will now be filed criminal charges, according to the FBI. KOJC was founded in 1985 by Apollo C. Quiboloy, a self-proclaimed “appointed son of God”, in Davao City, Philippines. According to the KOJC website, its members are in total of 6 million – 4 million in the Philippines and 2 million abroad. 

Photo Source: tnt.abante.com.ph/quiboloy-ikinulong-sa-hawaii-350k-piyesa-ng-baril-natagpuan-sa-kanyang-eroplano/
Photo Source: tnt.abante.com.ph/quiboloy-ikinulong-sa-hawaii-350k-piyesa-ng-baril-natagpuan-sa-kanyang-eroplano/

KOJC is also connected to the organizations the Sonshine Philippines Movement and Children’s Joy Foundation. Investigation revealed that the KOJC church successfully processes US visa for its recruits by deceptively using excuses such as musical events and other church related activities. But once these members got to the US, their passports are taken away by the church officials and they are forced to work, with quotas for them to meet, in the streets in various locations by collecting donations as “volunteers”.

These officials claim that the money being raised will go to its children’s foundation. However, in reality the money is being used for the church’s operations, according to the complaints. FBI stated that between 2014 and mid-2019, KOJC collected an amount close to $20 million through this kind of scam. In addition, these officials also used other kinds of illegal schemes to keep these victims in the US such as fake school enrollments and fake marriages. These victims also often live under a very bad condition such as being forced to sleep in cars or stay in a very cheap hotel for sustaining these church mandated operations, FBI also said. 

FBI also claimed that there were several victims who came forward to speak up and provided details about their alleged experiences of abuses and exploitations by this church such as emails detailing instructions by these administrators. These administrators were in-charge of the financial scam, falsification of immigration documents, including the passports of these victims. As of now there are no comments or statements yet from the KOJC representatives or from pastor Apollo Quiboloy himslef. 

This is not the first time that KOJC and Qioboloy gained internatinal headlines. Just recently, complaints of rape were also filed against the pastor while abuse and exploitation were also slap against its administators. As of this moment, there are no reports yet as a follow up to these cases. In addition to this, it was also reported last year that the KOJC manager in Hawaii and pastor Quiboloy were charged for smuggling cash to the Philippines using the pastor’s private jet. On this incident, the FBI agents “found $350,000 of cash and parts to assemble a military rifle” on the jet. 

Meanwhile, the FBI has provided toll-free contact numbers for anyone who wants to provide additional information about the KOJC activities: 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324).


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Alter Picar

Alter Picar is a writer, translator, self-published author, songwriter / musician, community worker, non-profit organization manager (volunteer), mental health advocate / educator, librarian, and organic gardener.
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