Aman planned to open in Iligan and Marawi

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ILIGAN CITY—It could have been a double, or even triple, whammy for Maranaos, had plans to open a conduit office of Aman Futures here and eventually in Marawi City pushed through.

Word about these plans circulated around mid-September, two weeks before Aman Futures collapsed.

Sources here and in Marawi, who are from local organizations, the academe and professional groups, told the Inquirer the planned opening of the conduit offices in both cities was shepherded by someone who introduced himself as working for the National Food Authority’s antismuggling body. The sources declined to be named for security reasons.

“It was even circulated widely in social media, drawing both heavy criticism and a big flock of supporters,” one source related.

At that time, Lanao del Sur, one of the country’s poorest provinces, was still reeling from the collapse of a similar investment racket overseen by Jachob “Coco” Rasuman that went bust around June.

The appetite for recouping their losses with Rasuman would have made the Maranaos doubly gullible. In fact, many of them tried their luck with Aman Futures in Pagadian that also eventually collapsed on Sept. 26.

Economic messiah

As an entry strategy, the local handler presented Aman Futures as a topnotch firm with deep knowledge of the global financial investments landscape. It also styled itself as a company committed to charitable pursuits that could help develop the province.

In Pagadian, Aman Futures cultivated the image of an economic messiah among the poor folk, especially in Kawit village, where it located its investment solicitations office.

“We waited for the Iligan office to open, where we can have the opportunity to be account holders. In Pagadian, we were only riders,” related Hanifa, 31, a bulk trader of ukay-ukay goods.

“It’s different if you are an account holder, you can strategize your cash placement. In a group, you must have a uniform investment term, which may not conform to the preference of each one,” Hanifa added.

Hanifa said that around August, as word was circulating among investors in Pagadian that Aman Futures will be on business holiday by December, they were also told to watch out for “new areas” where the company will operate.

In the new areas, they were further told “that earnings will be much higher,” she added.

As recounted by Pagadian-based investors, interest earnings on cash placements offered by Aman Futures ranged from 30 percent to 86 percent, depending on the investment term.

Pitch for charity

The peak rate was offered for 20-day placements during the last week of July when the company had a ‘Ramadan special.’

“I am sure many were also awaiting the opening of the Iligan office,” said Riyana, 29, a former overseas worker.

Riyana related that she was already planning to become an investment pooler herself had she obtained an account with Aman Futures.

Riyana even gave the Inquirer the contact number of Aman Futures-Iligan—09173995075.

Aman Futures’ local handler claimed that the company intends to pool money from the public to be used for its securities trading activities, that it engaged in trading in gold, oil futures and foreign currencies.

But beyond these claims, its pitch for charity “seemingly touched raw chords” among many people.

The Inquirer sources said the plan was to “silently co-opt local elders and religious personalities” into the scheme through the promise of zakat (funds for charity).

It wasn’t meant to be as the operation’s cover was blown.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.dionisio.5 Jake Dionisio

    Best business in the Philippines – Investment Scam

    • Lumad01

      isolated incident lang ito,situation under control.

  • EdgarEdgar

    If the author of this article, Ryan D. Rosauro, can unearth so much information about Aman Futures by just doing the regular legwork of a journalist and without the powers of AMLC, DOJ, DTI, NBI or SEC, what more if these government agencies and regulators did their homework long before the house of cards came crashing down. As always, the best efforts of the government are saved for last. They come into the picture long after the crime has been committed, long after the criminals have taken off with their loot and their track carefully covered. Long after the fact.

  • Julio7

    “It could have been a double, or even triple, whammy for Maranaos, had plans to open a conduit office of Aman Futures here and eventually in Marawi City pushed through.”

    “The appetite for recouping their losses with Rasuman would have made the Maranaos doubly gullible. In fact, many of them tried their luck with Aman Futures in Pagadian that also eventually collapsed on Sept. 26.”

    I wonder why Maranao businessmen (if they indeed a Muslim) engaged in “Riba” or “usury/interest” which is forbidden in Islam.

    Allah says in Surah Al-baqarah verse no.275

    “Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the Satan by his touch has driven to madness. That is because they say, “trade is like usury”, but Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden usury”,

    In the next verse verse 276 in the same place He says,

    “Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, and will give increase for deeds of charity, for he does not love any ungrateful sinner.”

    Two verses later in verse 278 he says,

    “Oh you who believe! Fear Allah and give up what remains of your demand for usury if you are indeed believers.”

    In verse 279 He says,

    “If you do not, take notice of war from Allah and his Messenger but if you repent you shall have your capital sum. Deal not unjustly and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

    In the second place in Surah Aal-Imran, verse no.130 Allah says,

    “Oh you who believe! Devour not usury doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah that you may prosper.”

    In the third place in Surah Al-Nisaa’ Allah states in verse 161,

    “That they took usury though they were forbidden and they devoured peoples wealth wrongfully; we have prepared for those amongst them who reject faith a grievous chastisement.”

    So dear Maranao businessmen – I reckon you must revisit your imaan (faith) and reflect what had Allah revealed.

  • tukmoldinako

    Amalilio was a malaysian and could be a muslim too, he scammed his fellow muslim on the guise of economic messiah, but greed overcame those who didnt learned their bible well.nobody to blame but themselves.

  • pedronimo

    This question is begging to be asked:

    WHY IS IT THAT INVESTMENT SCAMS ARE EXPOSED ONLY AFTER (THE FACT) WHEN THE OPERATORS  HAVE ALREADY RUN AWAY WITH THE HAPLESS INVESTORS’ MONEY?

    THE S.E.C. IS AGAIN SLEEPING ON ITS JOB OF MONITORING THE FINANCIAL OPERATIONS OF THESE DUBIOUS COMPANIES. AND TO THINK THAT THEY HAVE BOARD MEMBER ASSIGNED TO SPECIFICALLY TRACK THESE NEFARIOUS BUSINESS ACTIVITIES,

    This is not the first time that the SEC has been remiss on its safeguarding role, I suspect they have been bribed so they have to look the other way. Pnoy please investigate the Board members of the SEC.

    • Lumad01

      more fun in the philippine….

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