De Lima wants Napoles on Interpol red notice list-A A +A
Thursday, August 22, 2013
JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima assured the public on Thursday that fugitive businesswoman Janet Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim are still in the country.
Still, de Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will ask the 190-nation International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to include the siblings in its red notice list to ensure their arrest for serious illegal detention of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Earlier, the passports of Napoles and Lim were cancelled by the Department of Foreign Affairs while the Court of Appeals froze 400 financial accounts traced to the businesswoman, her relatives and dubious non-government organizations that she allegedly used to corner taxpayers money.
De Lima admitted that going after the siblings is a difficult task, considering Napoles' alleged resources and deep connections in government.
But up to now, the NBI is split over putting a bounty on Napoles.
"Karamihan sa kanila sinasabi nila na hindi na daw kailangan. Kasi kung P1 million o P2 million, peanuts lang yan if we think of the resources of the subject," de Lima told reporters.
She cited the case of the top five fugitives, which include suspected human rights violator Jovito Palparan and brothers Joel and Mario Reyes, who have yet to be arrested despite the P2-million reward for information that will lead to their capture.
Napoles had denied that her wealth came from illegal means but the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is currently investigating her and her relatives to determine if correct taxes had been paid for the purchase of multi-million peso properties.
"The probe is about whether she reported the right income. The foundation is a separate probe, now whether it will lead to Napoles, we will see. If not, we will have to look whether they have some tax liability. If you are an earning NGO, then you are subject to tax,” said BIR Commissioner Kim Henares.
The officials of the NGOs linked to the scam were alleged employees of Napoles' trading firm JLN Corp. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)