Pastor Apollo Quiboloy's church has been accused of fraud and human trafficking in Hawaii — now it's being investigated by the FBI.
Pastor Appollo Quiboloy's church accused of human trafficking has been dominating headlines in the Philippines. But that's not the end of all the accusations against the popular Philippine televangelist's church.
Nonprofit organisation Hawaii's Institute for Human Services (IHS) has also accused Children's Joy Foundation of fraud. Children's Joy Foundation was founded by Quiboloy, the founder of Philippine-based church the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc.
In a Facebook post, IHS said that donors and supporters have been complaining about a group of kids from Children's Joy Foundation doing door-to-door baked goods sales, claiming that they were fundraising for IHS.
"Please be advised, this is a fraud and is tied to a human trafficking operation in Hawaii," the post read, before saying that people should call the police if they ever encounter these fundraisers.
This accusation comes right as the FBI is investigating the church for alleged human trafficking. According to Hawaii News Now, the FBI had received complaints that church members had been flown into Hawaii to sell food as part of the Kingdom's aggressive fundraising activities.
Salinas was arrested in 2015 for beating up a church member who said she was forced to raise funding.
Alleged trafficking victim Kristina Angeles came to Hawaii on a religious visa in October 2014, and said that she was forced to sell manapua (a popular snack food) and Krispy Kreme donuts, "rain or shine".
If they failed to raise enough funds, the members were punished. These punishments included physical violence and hair shaving.
"We've been slapped or yelled at," Angeles said in her testimony. "The last time I... received punches over my arms and legs."
Last February, Quiboloy and 6 other people were arrested for trying to smuggle US$350,000 out of the US on a private plane. Gun parts were also found on the plane.
Quiboloy's lawyer, Israelito Torreon, maintains that the confiscated cash belonged to Quiboloy's business manager Felina Salinas. Salinas was later arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle the money out of Hawaii.
Torreon has denied the reports that Quiboloy's church is under an FBI probe, saying that someone was probably spreading "fake news" against the church.
"I did not receive any notice of any investigation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation," he told GMA News Online.
"If you would note, the jet of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy was already released by authorities to him through me, and while I was there, there was no information whatsoever that the Kingdom is under investigation."
Torreon clarified that fundraising for the church is voluntary. "We do not force anyone to participate in any of our activities."
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