CA freezes bank accounts of 23 Aman execs, firms

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The Court of Appeals has frozen the bank accounts of 23 Aman Futures executives and their companies in connection with an alleged P12-billion investment scam that investigators suspect is also being used to fund terrorist activities, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, the National Bureau of Investigation filed in the DOJ charges of syndicated estafa against Mayor Samuel Co of Pagadian City, his wife and 10 others in the scheme that allegedly defrauded 15,000 people in Mindanao.

Co and his wife, Priscilla Ann, were implicated by two investors, Samsodin B. Ala and Fabian Tapyan, who claimed they both directly dealt with the couple in investing a total of P11.014 million in Aman Futures, according to the NBI complaint.

The appellate court issued on Nov. 20 the freeze order covering accounts in 25 banks and financial institutions upon the urgent ex-parte petition of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) a week earlier.

“In order to avoid the possibility that the funds in the subject bank accounts will be withdrawn and placed beyond the reach of law enforcers, a freeze order, effective for a period of 20 days from notice, is issued covering the said accounts,” said the 12-page order by the court’s fourth division.

The court set a hearing on Dec. 3 to determine whether the order “shall be modified, lifted or extended.”

“It was suspected that funds were not only used in money laundering activities but also in terrorist financing,” the court said.

Asked about the terrorism angle in a news briefing on Wednesday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said: “I don’t have the particulars on that and even if I do have that, I don’t think I can share it with you.”

 

Frozen accounts

Frozen were bank accounts under the names of Manuel Amalilio, Aman Futures Group Phils., Aman Future Trading, Aman Investment Opportunities, Okachi Futures Trading, Aman Air, Lurix Bitoon Lopez, Leilan Lim Gan, Uni Gen Future Exchange Marketing, Eduard Lecaros Lim, Wilanie Fuentes, Naezelle M. Rodriguez, Fernando Roda Luna, Fretz and Sha Trading, Rioklyn P. Toledo, Jerome John D. Valera, Jerome B. Sanchez, Nino Jorino D. Ledesma, Rico Crisostomo Medina Jr., Diosdado Manolo Yap Dybongco, Michelle Gaceta, Nimfa Caballero Luna and Asaza Auto Center.

The accounts were in Allied Banking  Corp., Banco de Oro Unibank, Bank of Commerce, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BPI Family Savings Bank, China Banking Corp., Citibank N.A., Development Bank of the Philippines, East West Banking Corp., Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., Land Bank of the Philippines, Maybank Philippines,  Metrobank Card Corp., Metrobank and Trust Company, One Network Bank Inc., Orix Metro Leasing and Finance Company, Philippine Bank Communication, Philippine Savings Bank, RCBC Savings Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Security Bank Corp., Standard Chartered Bank, Union Bank of the Philippines and United Coconut Planters Bank, Philippine National Bank and BPI Philam Life Assurance Corp.

NBI checking deposits

In a news conference announcing the court action, De Lima said Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza told her that these banks had received the court order and that “most of them, if not all,” had complied.

De Lima said the NBI was still validating the amount involved. She said the NBI had asked the AMLC as early as last July for information on the accounts.

The court in its resolution noted the July 9 letter of NBI lawyer Cesar Bacani, who said the bank accounts “were being used in the modus operandi of enticing persons and groups to invest in the operation wherein investors will earn more or less 30 percent of their capital within a span of eight days.”

Investors were asked to deposit their investments in the bank under the account name Aman Futures Trading, or Okachi Future Trading, or Uniden Future Exchange, the court said.

It said the NBI disclosed that the proceeds of the investments were transferred from Pagadian City to Cebu City, where unspecified “Malaysian” operators were situated.

In addition to Co and his wife, the NBI also recommended the prosecution of Manuel Amalilio, Fernando Luna, Leilan Lim Gan, Eduard Lim, Wilanie Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez, Lurix Lopez, Mohammad Hassan Mackno, Dimasara Jova and Ian Madarang.

Amalilio is said to be the brains behind the scam while Luna, a former janitor and driver, served as the firm’s manager. Both of them are in hiding. Gan, Lim, Fuentes, Rodriguez and Fuentes, who were on Aman’s board of directors, surrendered over the weekend. Mackno, Jove and Madarang, who were investment agents, are also under NBI custody.

‘Respected’ people as bait

In its five-page complaint, the NBI said Ala claimed to have invested a total of P7.89 million through Mackno, who reportedly deposited the money in the bank account of Co’s wife, also identified as Ilang-Ilang Co.

The NBI said Ala was enticed to invest because of the huge return of investment offered. It said Ala was told that “several respected personalities in Pagadian City were actually involved in these seemingly lucrative activities,” like the chief of police of Pagadian, Senior Insp. Kenneth Mission, and the city mayor and his wife.

But no cash outs and interests were given to Ala, although he was promised a return of from 58 percent to 62 percent in 16 to 17 days for the three tranches investments he had made.

Tapayan, on the other hand, invested P2.12 million in three tranches through Madarang, said to be Co’s trusted aide.

But Tapayan was informed by Madarang on Oct. 2 that he could no longer cash his interests because Co had announced that Aman was no longer operating.

Tapayan confronted Co’s wife, who told him to wait for her husband’s return to Manila to settle the problem. But upon Co’s return, the mayor refused to return his investments.

A third complainant, Norolhaya Taha, said he invested P1 million in July, which he raised through other investors. He was promised a 100 percent return after 30 days but never got this.

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  • MonMayuga

    Aside from freezing the bank accounts of these companies and these persons they should also be barred from leaving the country. The freeze should last as long as the victims have not been compensated and the culprits meted due penalties.

  • doncleo

    20 days lang effectivity ng freeze order…baka nago pa man magkaroon ng formal hearing na-lift na freeze order di ma-iwithdraw na ang pera wala din nangyari

  • johndcross1

    With the enormous amount involved, treat this as a non-bailable crime.  There is an urgent need to issue a “no departure order” to all who acted for & behalf of Aman Futures. 

  • f35

    There’s a lesson to be learned here. It is called “GREED”. Kung titingnan natin, hindi lang iilan sa mga nag-invest ay “tumaya” sa ‘di kukulangin sa milyong piso. Tatlong bagay lang iyan. Nagkaroon ka ng ganyang kalaking pera dahil either meron kang negosyo, meron kang minana, o nakuha mo sa madilim na paraan. Either way(s), napaka-torpe mo naman na maniniwalang kikita ang pera mo ng from 58% to 62% in 17 days kung hindi ka ganoon ka-ganid sa pera. Ni hindi tinanong man lang siguro kung ano ba ang investment opportunity na ito na maglalagak ka ng ganyan kalaking pera na waqlang tanong-tanong. TIningnan lang yoong 62% na kikitain in 17 days tapos pinawalan na agad ang pera. That is soooo stupid !
    At kayo naman na mga  manloloko, ihulog sana kayo na patiwarik sa kumukulong langis.

  • John_Galt_II

    Bakit kailangan CA pa ang mag freeze ng account?

  • TinimbangNgunitKulang

    Bakit ngayon lang nagka freeze order? Nawithdraw na siguro yung laman.

  • Garo Ungaro

    freezen bank account…hold departure order.. give only monthly allowance determine by the court until case adjudicated….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5H2KUCZ24EZTZTKB22GL3A4WAU george bernard

    Suck it to them crooks!

  • tata_boy

    non-cash assets must be frozen too……

  • muddygoose

    Bakit hinde pa ni-freeze ang account ni Mayor Co? He must be a major player here, as he is the most influential of the group. At the same time, he has several times the accountability of private individuals involved, since he is supposed to be a public servant.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GFDEEYKVDPADPOWYYFKRW3FGQU yahoo-GFDEEYKVDPADPOWYYFKRW3FGQU

       I don’t think so. He is definitely one of them. The scope of involvement here goes way beyond the mayor. There is the GOVERNOR, CONGRESSMEN, NBI, SEC and the POLICE. Without the “PROTECTION” of these people, there is no way Aman could have operated for more than 8 months with impunity without being FORMALLY investigated. Aside from the Mayor, these people should also be investigated. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OAFZIN56TAAM73TEKNPNEBQV3U AdrianD

    bat kay ampatuan walang freeze ng assets?

    onli in da pines!

    • Pulokoy

       bakit iffreeze? e inde naman nag scam mga ampatuan??

      • victor1052

        Hindi nga scam pero embezzlement naman. Yung buong budget para sa ARMM, inangkin lahat. kaya walang asenso ang ARMM lalo na sa maguindanao. Kung sa Taiwan pa yan, na-confiscate na kaagad ang lahat na kayamanan. Dito, due process pa daw.

  • Magsasaka

    freeze kasi wala pang bayad pero kapag nagkabayaran katulad ng kaso ng mga reyes na pumatay sa isang radio commentator malamang sasabihin ng CA na walang kaso 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5STEU22AD7YRHQSB6RE56ZDSYA J

    Hindi talaga pagkakatiwalaan ang karamihan sa mga intsik. Tinangap sila dito sa Pinas mula kung saan sa Tsina pero manloloko lang pala lalu na ginagamit ang puwesto. Lahat nga palatandaan ng pandaraya nasa kanila. Sa hardware ang mga angle bars o round bars at mga kahoy kulang sa sukat. Tapos heto hindi nagkasya ang mga dinadaya sa mga hardware at lumber, naging politiko para manloko.
    Dapat paminsan minsan may isasalang na isa sa kanila sa isang kalderong malaki na may tubig na kumukulo.

  • joshua kings

    1. may natira ba naman kayang pera sa mga bank accounts na pinriz ng gobyerno?
    2. bakit ngayon lang kumilos sila sa gobyerno? di kaya wala ng daga dyan sa mga bank accounts na yan?
    bakit ganito ang gobyerno, palaging huli?

    • magiting78

      Bkit lagi ang gobyerno ang nasisi, hnd ba dapat yung individual, they proceed on this business on their own risk…

  • victor1052

    Ngayon pa? Barya lang matira! Anong akala nyo sa mga swindlers na yan, kasing tanga niyo?! Tiyak pinagusapan muna magkano ang hatian ng mga koraps at mga scammers. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LUHEGTEQVPMLUVGCH64YGZ5QJM Jury

    The freeze order is to be effective for 20 days upon notice. So paglipas na 20 days ba, lifted na ung freeze order? And if the freeze order is to be effective in 20 days upon notice, so sa mga sandaling ito pwede pa bang i-withdraw mga funds?

    Pakitulung naman po kung mali pagka-unawa ko sa statement ng Courts, fouth division..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GFDEEYKVDPADPOWYYFKRW3FGQU yahoo-GFDEEYKVDPADPOWYYFKRW3FGQU

    It is obvious that these bank accounts have nothing more than loose change left.
    If aman is intelligent enough to scam people from all walks of life to the tune of 12BILLION pesos, then he must also be intelligent enough to have transferred the money to foreign bank accounts before he fled.  

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