PNP: Police, AMLC freeze assets of allegedly ‘high-value’ drug suspect in Cebu

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2021 10:54 PM

PNP: Police, AMLC freeze assets of allegedly ‘high-value’ drug suspect in Cebu 1
Photo from the PNP.

MANILA—The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) have implemented the Court of Appeals' freeze order on the assets of an allegedly "high-value" drug suspect arrested in Cebu, police said Friday. 

In a statement, the PNP said the real estate properties and financial accounts of a certain Charlie Duhaylungsod Fortuna, and his 10 bank accounts, were frozen after the AMLC flagged them as allegedly related to drug-trafficking activities. 

One of the properties, located in Barangay Cubacub, Mandaue City, was where authorities conducted a buy-bust operation on February 9, 2019, where the suspect was arrested, the police said. 

Supposedly confiscated from the suspect were 7 kilograms of shabu worth P47.7 million. The other property was located in Ozamiz City. 

PNP Chief Gen. Debold Sinas alleged that the suspect's assets were illegally obtained. 

Authorities also uncovered financial documents, such as deposit slips, post-dated checks, and remittance slips. 

This, the police said, "bolstered suspicion" that Fortuna had used banking in "laundering proceeds" to sell illegal drugs. 

The police chief, meanwhile, hoped to work further with the AMLC to arrest more criminals engaged in illegal drugs. 

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AMLC executive director Mel Georgie Racela joined Sinas in implementing the seizure on one of the properties. 

The police and the council inked a memorandum of agreement boosting government efforts against money laundering. 

In late January, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a measure amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), in a bid to boost regulations on money laundering in the Philippines. 

The new law expands the powers of the AMLC, allowing it to impose targeted financial sanctions against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its financing. It also allows the council to apply for court summons, and search and seizure warrants.