AMLC to probe other ‘pork scam’ accounts

Rappler.com
'We are tracing all accounts. We can possibly trace more accounts, including those in the United States.'

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) will look into the bank accounts of “any person who is determined to be involved” in the alleged pork barrel scam, not only those owned by Janet Lim Napoles, the woman at the center of the controversy.

“We are tracing all accounts. We can possibly trace more accounts, including those in the United States,” AMLC Executive Director lawyer Julia Bacay Abad said Thursday, September 5.

“If there’s a determination that the subject bank accounts are related to money laundering activities, then any account related to it should be included in the petition and frozen as well,” she said.

The AMLC has asked its foreign counterparts for assistance in tracing other possible Napoles accounts, “just like in our other cases.”

“We make it a point to do that because there’s always a possibility that transactions are being made outside the Philippines, so there’s really a need for international cooperation,” Abad said.

She said the AMLC has a limited number of personnel, but they will “try [their] best” in their investigation.

Banks will have no choice but to cooperate with them, she added.

Abad explained that only those accounts that are involved in the scam will be ordered frozen.

“[We] file for a petition for freeze order only if we have basis that the accounts are the subject of the petition or related to it,” she said.

The Court of Appeals has imposed a freeze order on the bank accounts of Napoles, her husband and children, as well as the accounts of her current and former employees.

READ: Napoles’ 400 accounts are with 17 banks

On Tuesday, Napoles’ legal counsel Lorna Kapunan, in an interview on ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel, challenged the AMLC to freeze the accounts of lawmakers being linked to the alleged multi-billion scam.

READ: Napoles entitled to due process – Kapunan

Currently, only the bank accounts owned by Napoles and her immediate family, as well as those linked to the JLN Corp, were ordered frozen by the court.

The CA also ordered frozen the accounts linked to non-government organizations (NGOs) that Napoles allegedly formed. – Rappler.com

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