The bank accounts of executives of Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc. who were linked to the P12-billion investment scam will be frozen for six more months on orders of the Court of Appeals (CA) Fourth Division.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed the appellate court extended the freeze order on Monday but said she did not know what the court’s order covered exactly.
The appellate court held a hearing Monday to determine whether the 20-day freeze order it issued on Nov. 20 on the bank accounts of 23 Aman executives in 25 banks should be lifted or extended.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) through the Office of the Solicitor General had sought the freeze order after finding probable cause against Aman executives led by Manuel Amalilio who perpetrated the scam that duped 15,000 people.
Amalilio has fled to Malaysia. Several syndicated estafa cases have been filed against him and his agents in the Department of Justice.
De Lima welcomed the extension of the freeze order. “It’s quite justified to enable the AMLC and other relevant authorities to thoroughly undertake their mandated tasks vis a vis the deposits and other known assets of Aman Futures and affiliate entities and related individuals.”
“The Anti-Money Laundering Act mechanism is a vital component of the accountability process,” De Lima said in a text message to reporters.
“The fact that the CA granted a six-month extension implies or connotes that assets were indeed frozen. As to how much, the same remains confidential at this point,” she said. Christine O. Avendaño