Pyramid scam suspect flees to Sabah, says NBI

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04:10 PM November 15th, 2012

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By: Tetch Torres, November 15th, 2012 04:10 PM

MANUEL AMALILIO: Suspected mastermind disappears. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A Filipino-Malaysian believed to be the brains behind a scam that duped some 15,000 people in Mindanao and the Visayas of P12 billion has fled to Sabah, the National Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.

Mohammad Suffian Saaid, also known as Manuel Amalilio, who was involved in the P12-billion pyramiding scam, has left the country.

NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas said Amalilio, founder of Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc., is now in Kota Kinabalu.

Rojas said the NBI has coordinated with the Interpol and the Malaysian Embassy to determine Amalilio’s exact location.

The government has no extradition treaty with Malaysia but Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said there are other ways to get Malaysia’s help in sending back Amalilio to stand trial in the Philippines.

“Malaysia is part of the Asean Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, we can invoke that too,” De Lima said.

The pyramid scam has reportedly victimized some 15,000 people, mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao. Some of the victims are reportedly local officials, government employees, and police and military officers.

The NBI sent a notice to the Interpol and Malaysian Embassy on Thursday informing them of the syndicated estafa complaint filed against Amalilio at the Department of Justice.

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