Dummies? NBI probes De Lima's friends for laundering
MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking into the bank accounts of at least 10 persons who are suspected to have laundered drug money for Senator Leila de Lima.
Also being investigated are several corporations, where some of the stockholders reportedly have connections to drug lords.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told reporters on Friday, September 23, that the NBI had received from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) the bank records that the bureau requested.
Aguirre met with AMLC officials on Thursday.
He refused to name De Lima’s friends whose bank transactions are being investigated.
“I’m not at liberty to say something about that because that is confidential. Under the AMLC rules, the report provided to us is just to help up dig deeper for evidence, and we can only reveal this if there is already a case filed in court,” the justice secretary said.
Still, he said, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has sufficient evidence to file a case against the lady senator.
The DOJ has accused De Lima of tolerating drug trading inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary, because the drug lords allegedly delivered bribe money to her through her reported driver-boyfriend Ronnie Dayan.
Convicts who testified in the congressional hearing on the proliferation of drugs in the national penitentiary claimed the bribe money they paid was for De Lima’s 2016 senatorial campaign.
De Lima has denied all the allegations made by the DOJ chief and the witnesses.
The first time Aguirre made the allegations on Thursday that she had millions, even billions, of pesos in her bank accounts, De Lima said: “Secretary Aquirre and his operators are a mafia of lies and intrigues, who go to bed with criminal convicts just to get their perjured testimonies.” – Rappler.com