- Quiboloy’s lawyer denied the church’s link to human trafficking allegation
- The FBI reportedly launched an investigation into the church business manager
- A former member came forward accusing the church of ‘forcing’ them to raise money in Hawaii
MANILA, Philippines – The lawyer of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy has denied their church’s link to the human trafficking charges being pursued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Hawaii.
This after a report by the Hawaii News Now dated March 29 which said the FBI is currently investigating Felina Salinas, reportedly the business manager of Quiboloy’s church Kingdom of Jesus Christ, for trying to smuggle $350,000 dollars out of the US early this year.
Salinas, Quiboloy and several others were briefly detained in Hawaii in February after federal agents found bundles of cash stuffed in sacks inside the plane leased by the Filipino evangelist.
After Salina’s arrest, the FBI launched an investigation on possible human trafficking charges against her, said the Hawaii newspaper; citing sources.
A former church member, Kristina Angeles, reportedly claimed she was sent to Hawaii on religious visa but ended up selling “manapua and Krispy Kreme” donuts for hours, “rain or shine”, as part of the church’s “aggressive” fundraising activities.
Angeles further claimed they were physically abused as punishment whenever they didn’t sell enough.
But Quiboloy’s legal counsel, Israelito Torreon, said they have not received, so far, any notification on an ongoing FBI probe on alleged human trafficking.
Torreon also blamed those “trying to destroy the congregation” for linking the church to the allegation.
“That is shocking. Somebody must be orchestrating all of these. I hope that person will be enlightened by the Lord Almighty to stop this because that’s really not true,” Torreon told ABS-CBN News.
“The congregation of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy is a religious congregation. It is not engaged in human trafficking,” the lawyer said.
Aside from the money found on Quiboloy’s plane, gun parts were also reportedly seized.
Quiboloy, a close friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, has since denied the allegation.