TV report tipped off Amalilio’s victims in Malaysia

Sandy Araneta - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A live broadcast by a local television network of the supposed deportation from Malaysia of wanted pyramiding scam suspect Manuel Amalilio is being blamed for his aborted return to the country, a source from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said yesterday.

The source, who requested anonymity, said Malaysians who fell prey to Amalilio’s pyramiding scheme were alerted when they saw on television that the Aman head was set to be deported last Thursday.

This developed as two Malaysian firms were linked to the operation of Aman Futures Group, Inc.

An official privy to the case said investors in Barakah Trading & Resources and Twin Khan Trading surfaced days before Amalilio was set to be flown back to the Philippines last Friday.

“They invested in those two companies, which were authorized by Aman Futures. In other words, these two companies served as collectors or even subsidiaries of Aman,” the source told The STAR.

“Because of the live broadcast, which apparently reached Malaysia and other countries, Malaysian victims urged authorities to stop his deportation,” the source told The STAR.

He said the reporter of the television network, which he refused to identify, had even interviewed some of the Malaysian victims.

“If you were a complainant, and you learned that the accused is being brought out of the country, wouldn’t you be alarmed?” the source asked.

NBI director Nonnatus Caesar Rojas reiterated his earlier statements that they were still verifying reports that Amalilio might have pending cases in Malaysia, which could have been the reason why he was prevented from boarding a plane that would take him back to the Philippines.

Rojas earlier said it’s now up to the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to take the next step on the matter.

The source expressed alarm that if such would be the case, it might take time before the principal suspect in what is considered to be a grand pyramiding scam could be deported from Malaysia.

The source said the live broadcast should not have been made, and journalists should just have waited for Amalilio’s return to the country before airing the report.

The source said a news blackout on the return of the NBI men and the Aman head should have been imposed. He cited the deportation of Michael Ray Aquino, which was never shown live on television, and was reported only when he was already in the country. He said the trip of the NBI men should have been kept confidential.

The source said the live broadcast might have also alerted Malaysian authorities on the enormity of the case that Amalilio was involved in.

“Everything was already ironed out. The Malaysian authorities never knew how big the case was until it was shown on television,” he said.

Records show that Barakah Trading & Resources is a duly registered firm engaged in stocks, poultry, livestock, apparel and frozen food business, while Twin Khan is a similar firm also located in Selangor state in Malaysia.

The source said the complaints of the investors of these two firms were the reasons why Malaysian authorities blocked the deportation of Amalilio.

“Apparently the incorporators of the two companies took part in the operations of Aman. They gathered investors for Aman through their companies,” the source said without giving names pending verification.

The official said the incorporators, represented by lawyer Bloumpar Adiong, had “partnered” with Amalilio and facilitated some of the investments.

“They even accompanied him in his private jet and helicopter whenever he would go to the Mindanao area,” said the source.

Amalilio, the prober said, claimed he was related to a prominent

Sabah politician and even portrayed himself as a very religious man, warning investors against putting their money in Ponzi-type schemes.

Ironically, it was found that the Aman head allegedly used the same scheme in defrauding Malaysian investors.

The source said the investors trusted Amalilio because at the start of the business, he returned their investments with the corresponding interest ahead of the due date. 

For the first five to six months, he managed to deliver 30 percent returns in the first round and 50 percent in the second round of the business.

It was in early November last year when he ran off with all the investments. – Edu Punay












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