KOTA KINABALU—A fugitive wanted by Philippine police for cheating over 15,000 people is not in any way linked to a political family in Sabah.
Reports in Manila have quoted Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as saying that the purported deportation of the Philippines’ most wanted conman was stopped by Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman.
Sabah police chief Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib, however, said this was not true.
“It was my decision [to stop the move to send him back] as we have to follow proper procedures to deport anyone. We have nothing against deporting the man but [to date] there has been no request for his deportation by the Philippines,” he said.
Suspect Manuel Karingal Amalilio, who operated a company called Aman Futures Group, had claimed to be a nephew of Musa and Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman while luring thousands of Filipino investors into his investment scheme that offered 67 percent in returns.
He fled to Sabah in November immediately after Philippine President Aquino ordered his arrest after over 15,000 investors were cheated of around P12 billion in the scam.
Amalilio, also known as Mohammad Suffian Syed in Malaysia, was arrested in Ranau on Jan. 24.
However, police chief Commissioner Hamza has reiterated that the arrest had nothing to do with the scam in the Philippines.
He said Amalilio was held over identity issues and that investigations were being carried out for offenses under Section 12 (1) D of Malaysia’s Passport Act 1966 that provides for a maximum fine of 10,000 Malaysian ringgits or a five-year imprisonment or both.
“We found him in possession of a suspected fake Philippine passport,” Hamza said.
“We are now trying to establish his true citizenship,” he said, reaffirming that the suspect was not related to the Aman family of Sabah.