DOJ to probe P12-B pyramiding scam

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2012 01:51 PM | Updated as of Nov 15 2012 01:24 AM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) will investigate the P12-billion pyramiding scam that has victimized some 15,000 people, including local officials, military and police officers, and government workers.

De Lima said a panel of state prosecutors will be created to investigate the matter. The panel will look into reports public funds may have been invested in the scam allegedly perpetrated by Aman Futures Group P./hils., Inc., a company founded by 32-year-old Malaysian Mohammad Suffian Saaid also known as Manuel Amalilio.

Aside from the DOJ, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is also conducting its own probe. The NBI is an attached agency of the department.

"Pinapa-pursue namin [sa] imbestigasyon ang pag-double check nung report na may local officials na kasali sa pyramiding scam but NBI has asked COA (Commission on Audit) to check on that. The NBI is doing its own investigation, confirming those reports about certain local officials investing in the scams and probably using public funds," De Lima said. 

The DOJ hopes to file appropriate charges in court against Saaid and his cohorts before year-end.

De Lima has also directed the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to check whether those behind the company had already left the country.

“Pinapa check ko na kung may nakalabas na ng bansa and kung may nakalabas na, anong countries para immediately we can inoke our existing bilateral agreements like MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty),” she said.

The justice chief was scheduled to hold a joint press conference at noontime on Wednesday with Interior and Local Government chief Mar Roxas but this was cancelled at the last minute after both were called to Malacañan for a meeting.