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CA freezes P200M worth of Aman Futures accounts, Amlac tells House

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01:44 PM December 4th, 2012

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December 4th, 2012 01:44 PM

The Court of Appeals building in Ermita, Manila. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/COURT OF APPEALS WEBSITE

MANILA, Philippines—The Anti-Money Laundering Council (Amlac) on Tuesday told the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries that the Court of Appeals has frozen P200 million out of Aman Futures’ bank accounts.

Amlac executive director Vicente Aquino said the CA issued on Monday a freeze order on Aman Futures accounts worth P200 million both in local and foreign currency during the panel’s inquiry into the P12-billion investment scam that duped around 15,000 people in Visayas and Mindanao.

He said the accounts were found in 25 banks and one insurance company, adding that they have been monitoring accounts of the subject which has drawn up red flags due to suspicious transactions.

He pointed out that the Amlac alone could not freeze the accounts on the basis of red flags on suspicious transactions but assured the panel that their inquiry into Aman Futures’ accounts were ongoing.

Aquino said they were waiting for the cooperation of more financial institutions in tracking down Aman Futures accounts, adding the P200 million in frozen accounts would increase as their inquiry continues.

Another revelation during the panel’s investigation on the issue was that Manuel Amalilio, the brains behind the scam, was a local and not Malaysian.

“He is not a Malaysian. He has a Philippine passport and was born in Tarlac. For all intents and purposes, he is a Filipino,” said NBI director Nonatus Rojas.

Virgilio Mendez, NBI deputy director for regional operations services, said that the Malaysian embassy has also offered them assistance in locating Amalilio who was said to be in Kota Kinabalu.

Meanwhile, officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Bureau of Investigation were scolded by legislators for being more “reactive” than proactive in their investigation on the investment scam.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, who co-authored House Resolution 2890 which sought an investigation into the scam, scolded the SEC whom he described to have “natutulog sa pansitan” during Aman Futures’ operations.

“We do not feel the SEC’s presence in Mindanao. You have to be proactive. You have been reactive,” he said.

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