JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has requested Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Roel Obusan to transfer the custody of P18 million alleged extortion money from gaming tycoon Jack Lam to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The money was turned over by former Bureau of Immigration (BI) Acting Intelligence Chief Charles Calima to the CIDG earlier in the day.

"May we request that the said amount be turned over to this department for safekeeping and as evidence of the alleged extortion involving two BI Commissioners and high-ranking officials," Aguirre said in his letter to the CIDG chief.

The two BI officials – former Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles – are now the subject of the investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), an agency under the DOJ.

Separate probes are also being conducted by the BI and the Parañaque City Prosecutor's Office.

The DOJ chief also asked Obusan for the copies of other evidences submitted by Calima relative to his alleged counter-intelligence operations conducted against BI officials.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente earlier said he authorized Calima to conduct an operation against officials receiving payoffs in the bureau.

Argosino and Robles, who turned over last week P30 million to the DOJ, said the money they received from Lam as part of their "clandestine operation" against the BI officials amounts to P50 million.

The P18 million, according to them, went to Calima while the P2 million was pocketed by Lam's associate Wally Sobrero.

The two were accussed of receiving bribe money from Lam in exchange for the release of 600 of the 1,316 undocumented Chinese nationals arrested at Lam's online gaming operations in Clark, Pampanga. (Sunnex)