2-year jail term for Aman Futures head in Malaysia-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
MANILA – Efforts to bring investment scam leader Manuel Amalilio back to the country might be put to waste after a Malaysian court ordered his imprisonment for two years for securing a fake Philippine passport.
News outlets in Malaysia particularly The Star Online reported that Amalilio, whose real name is Mohammad Kamal Sa’ad, pleaded guilty on Monday to the offense before Magistrate Nuruhuda Mohd Yusof.
Section 12(1) (d) of Malaysia's Passport Act of 1966 provides a fine of up to 10,000 ringgit (or roughly P130,000) or jail term of up to five years or both.
But The Star Online said Amalilio’s counsel Hairul V. Othman sought for a lighter penalty for his client because he was a “first-time offender who was remorseful of his actions.”
Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya confirmed this report as he maintained that the government is still "committed" to make Amalilio, founder of ill-fated Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc., accountable for his crimes.
Before this development, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is hoping that Amalilio will be sent back to the country as soon as possible to face multi-million peso syndicated estafa cases pending with the Pagadian City Regional Trial Court branch 20.
De Lima even vouched for Amalilio’s nationality as Filipino although there were reports saying that he is a distant relative of Sabah chief minister Datuk Serik Musa Aman, who allegedly blocked his deportation last January 25.
"We would not want this issue - peripheral or otherwise - to go out of proportion and possibly jeopardize our efforts to bring him back to the country," she told reporters.
Malaysia is in fact willing to turn over Amalilio to the Philippines provided that proper procedures under Asean's Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2002 had to be complied with, The Star Online said quoting Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib.
"He (Taib) said police received an application from the Philippines Government to pick up Mohammad Kamal (Amalilio) but this had to be rejected as they had not gone through the procedure according to the Act. The application letter has to go through the Philippines Attorney-General and Foreign Ministry before being handed over to Malaysia's Foreign Ministry, Attorney-General and police, he said," the report stated.
Some 15,000 people claimed to have lost P12 billion worth of investments to Aman headed by Amalilio, who is currently at the male medical ward of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu undergoing treatment for a supposed liver ailment. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)