MANILA, Philippines—Tension gripped a holding area of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport when a man said to be a ranking official of the Malaysian Royal Police barged into the room where a Philippine government delegation and Ponzi scheme operator Manuel Amalilio were staying and ordered the Filipinos to get out, a source who was present in the room told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Saturday.
The source said the team leader of the National Bureau of Investigation, Cesar Bacani tried to reason out with the unidentified Malaysian official and insisted tat the NBI team already had custody of the suspect after he was turned over to them by local police authorities.
“But the Malaysian, in a raised voice, insisted we cannot have Amalilio and another official who was also in the room at the same time ordered us to leave the room where Amalilio was being detained,” the source said, asking that he not be identified because he wasn’t authorized to talk to media.
“We were constrained to board the plane and leave Amalillio behind,” the source said.
Another Inquirer source in Kotaba Kinabalu said Amalilio was related to a high official in Sabah.
Amalilio was arrested by Malaysian police in Kota Kinabalu’s Ranao District on Tuesday afternoon for carrying “fake Malaysian documents.”
The source said Amalilio was turned over by the Malaysian police to the Philippine team at 4 p.m. Friday along with his ticket and boarding pass.
“Seat arrangement in the plane had also been laid out to ensure security of the subject,’’ the source said.
He added that the issue on Amalilio’s citizenship never came up during their coordination with the local authorities for the deportation of Amalillio.
“We are working on the basis that he is a Filipino and we have all the documents to prove his Filipino citizenship,” the source said.
The source also said that the Cebu Pacific plane arrived late and they were not able to board on time.
The government delegation and Amalilio were opposed to leave Kota Kinabalu airport at 5:50 p.m. and expected to arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.
According to another source of the Inquirer in Kota Kinabalu, Amalillio remained in the custody of the Royal Malaysian Police and was now detained at the Karamunsing District in the city.
The Sabah source also told Inquirer that Amalilio was a relative of a top government official in Sabah.
Amalilio, owner of Aman Futures Group, a fraudulent investment company that swindled up to 15,000 investors in the Visayas and Mindanao out of an estimated total of P12 billion of hear-earned money they invested in the company.
Amalillio and nine others have been charged with syndicated estafa, a non-bailable offense.