Lawmakers push probe on Aman-A A +A
Friday, January 4, 2013
TWO legislators are pushing for an investigation on the pyramid scam made by Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc.
Representative Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd district, Cagayan de Oro) and Abante Mindanao Party-list Representative Maximo Rodriguez Jr. said they want to know how the company was able to swindle the P12 billion from some 15,000 people in Mindanao and Visayas.
They said there is a need to look into Aman and determine the extent of the damage it had caused and the number of Filipinos who were deceived.
“In order to determine how to further prevent companies like this from existing and prevent further pyramiding scams from happening,” Rufus said.
Based on the report of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), among Aman’s victims were local politicians, police and military personnel, government workers, market vendors, farmers, drivers, retired employees and overseas Filipino workers.
The company’s alleged first clients were market vendors in Pagadian City who invested P1,000 with a 70 percent return after one week.
Initial investigation showed that the company, which was founded early in 2012, was allegedly managed by a former janitor and driver and has listed as its executives and directors in the names of Manuel K. Amalilio, Fernando R. Luna; Lelian Lim Gan, Edward L. Lim, William L. Fuentes, Naezelle M. Rodriguez and Lurix Lopez.
The 32-year-old Amalilio is a Malaysian national whose name is Mohammad Suffian Saaid. He reportedly has three private planes, two units at Upper Mckinly Hills Garden Villas in Taguig City and houses in the cities of Cebu and Dapitan.
It was also learned that Luna, the one who managed the multi-billion scam, is a “former driver and utility person of a company located near the Pagadian City public market.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has already issued a cease and desist order against Aman as early as October 8, 2012 and even warned the public against e-mail and text messages claiming that Aman has already been cleared to operate for six months and was issued a secondary license by the SEC.
Despite this, the company was able to expand its business to other cities and provinces like Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga, and to Cebu City.
Investigation showed that Aman was able to lure investors by offering a 30 to 40 percent return on investment within eight days and a 50 to 80 percent profit from 18 to 20 days. Its modus operandi was to offer a return through a post-dated check of the entire amount of the investment plus a profit of up to 80 percent.
With the huge increase of investors, Aman raised its required minimum investment from P1,000 to P20,000 and in order to meet the new requirement, investors pooled their resources and others mortgaged lands and houses to comply with the requirement.
The victims, according to the NBI, trusted Aman because of endorsements from local officials who admitted having investments in the company.
Because of this, the Rodriguez brothers have directed the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries to conduct an inquiry and summon the NBI, SEC, Department of Justice (DOJ), Aman and other agencies concerned which may shed light and resolve the issue.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 04, 2013.