CA allows AMLC to examine books of recruitment agency

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2012 06:10 PM | Updated as of Sep 27 2012 03:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) was given the green light by the Court of Appeals (CA) to scrutinize the bank accounts of an alleged illegal recruitment agency.

In a seven-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Manuel Barrios, the appellate court granted the AMLC's application for bank inquiry for the examination of the bank accounts of Global Placement Provider Services (GPPS) in Banco de Oro, and the accounts of a certain Mark Parrenas Silva maintained at Maybank.

The said accounts are covered by a 20-day freeze order earlier issued by the appellate court.
The appellate court “found the existence of probable cause that the said bank deposits or accounts involve or relate to proceeds of unlawful activities.”

GPPS allegedly duped several victims into working as supposed caregivers in a nursing home and home for the aged in the United Kingdom for a monthly income as high as P200,000. Upon application, they allegedly shelled out from P100,000 to P160,000 for "visa application, placement, accommodation, enrollment and training fees."

The victims claimed payments were made over the counter at the GPPS Manila office or deposited into its bank accounts.

Some of the alleged victims filed complaints against the respondents for violation of the Republic Act 8042, also known as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 as amended by RA 10022 (Large Scale Illegal Recruitment committed by a Syndicate), and Art. 315 (on swindling/estafa) of the Revised Penal Code.

Concurring with the resolution were Associate Justices Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Normandie Pizarro.

Under the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, only a competent court is allowed to authorize the AMLC to inquire into or examine bank deposits or investments with any banking institution or non-bank financial institution following the determination of probable cause that the same are involved to a money laundering offense.