CA affirms freeze order on bank accounts linked to Chinese drug syndicate

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed an earlier order freezing cash assets in two bank accounts believed to have been sourced from illegal drug earnings of convicted drug lord Albert Chin, who is believed to be a member of a Chinese drug syndicate.

The bank accounts from BDO and Metrobank belong to Jeffrey Su Go, Jean Pearl Yana Go, and
Jin Zhang.

The 3 people appealed to the CA to lift the freeze order issued by the appellate court in June 2017, but their motions for reconsideration were denied by the CA's former Special Third Division.

The bank account owners previously got the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to lift a preservation order on their assets, claiming that the money in the bank was meant to pay for loans, and not earnings from Chin's supposed drug network. 

The CA overruled the Manila RTC.

In September 2016, the Olongapo RTC convicted Chin and sentenced him to life for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. 

The charges stemmed from a raid in 2013 which yielded 434 kilos of shabu, which was believed to have been smuggled from China.

Chin is a Filipino-Chinese based in General Santos City, and married to a former domestic helper in Hong Kong who is suspected to be Chin's conduit in the Hong Kong Triad.

It was in that 2013 raid that police found transaction slips for the deposit of P3.68 million to the Go
couple’s account and a P4-million manager’s check to Zhang.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) added that Chin transferred P18.31 million to the Gos from 2012 to 2013.

“We emphasize the finding of probable cause that funds deposited to private respondents’ accounts are sourced from Albert Chin’s involvement with illegal drug trafficking,” the CA said.

On Thursday, November 22, Rappler received a letter from Aeneas Eli Diaz of DC, threatening “to take all necessary criminal, civil, and administrative actions” if Rappler doesn’t take down this news report.  

Representing the two Go’s, the lawyer said the article violated the rule on confidentiality of records, his clients’ right to privacy, and the sub judice rule.  

Rappler published the article in the normal course of our daily coverage of the court and its decisions, citing only information cited in the particular ruling.