DOJ readies subpoena vs 44 pyramid scam suspects
MANILA, Philippines - Nari (not her real name) invested P172,000 in the Aman Futures Group from September to October this year, hoping to double her capital for her retail business in Pagadian City and Divisoria, Manila.
She deposited part of it in the group's bank account, but gave the rest in cold cash to Fernando Luna, one of the executives of the group behind a P12-billion pyramid scam that victimized 15,000 people in Visayas and Mindanao.
A 47-year-old single parent, Nari said she did not think twice in investing because her neighbors and friends got huge sums of money from their own investments. Nari said she herself was promised a return rate of 32%-65%.
"If we knew we were being duped, then we would not have invested in it," she said in the vernacular.
Nari is one of the 7 victims who filed their respective complaints against Aman Futures Group on Tuesday, November 20 at the National Bureau of Investigation.
More than 50 complaints have been filed against the group, which scammed people by using a double-your-money-scheme.
The Department of Justice will hold a preliminary investigation on the cases on November 27.
DOJ senior assistant state prosecutor Edna Villanueva, head of the special panel of prosecutors handling the case, said a subpoena against at least 44 officers and members of the Aman Futures Group will also be issued on November 21 even as authorities have yet to track down Manuel Amalilio (also known Mohammad Suffian Saaid), the group's founder. Amalilio left for Sabah, Malaysia on November 14.
Team of investigators
Authorities are expected to serve the subpoena at Amalilio's residence in Taguig instead.
Aside from Amalilio, the other respondents are Luna, Lelian Lim Gan, Eduard Lim, Wilaie Fuentes, Naezelle Rodriguez, Lurix Lopez, Isagani laluna, Nimfa Luna, Dhurwin Wenceslao, Donna Coyme, Vanessa Luna, Noel Luna, Reggie Luna, Araceli Pasco, Lez Uy Caballero, Marilou Caballero, Rogelio Caballero, Marichu Caballero, Roderick Luna, Roy Aspera, Mike Heres, Edwin Caballero; Liezel Paner, Connie Paner, Edward Amaro, Marione Tan Paner, Elen Tan, Judy Amaro, Mike Wenceslao, Alfredo Aspera alias "Bula," Grace Empalmado, Ariel Empalmado, Yuyet Dumandan, Toto Roda, Edilberto Cabillo Elmidulan, Shiela Luna Lasaca, Ernesto Luna, Marcelo Andale, Marlou Lasaca, and John and Jane Does. All were charged with estafa.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said also that she created a team of investigating prosecutors to assist the NBI in gathering evidence in Pagadian City and Cagayan de Oro.
The team is different from the special panel of prosecutors headed by Villanueva, which will conduct the preliminary investigation.
The panel will also hold a separate preliminary investigation on cases linked to the pyramid scam of the Jahcob "Coco" Rasuman group.
The group allegedly duped people by promising a return rate of up to 70%. The panel will hold a preliminary investigation in Pagadian City on December 5 and another one on December 7 in Cagayan de Oro City. - Rappler.com