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Kris denies investing in Ponzi-type scam.

Manila: Popular television host and movie personality Kris Aquino, the sister of President Benigno Aquino, denied investing P50 million (Dh4.166 million) to a Ponzi-type scam that was launched by a Malaysian who has sought residency in Borneo.

"I never placed a P50 million (Dh4.166 million) investment at Aman Futures Group [which was founded by Manuel Amalilio in Pagadian City]. I do not know them and they do not belong to my crowd," Aquino said.

"Another investor might have a name similar to mine," Aquino reasoned, adding, "Some of my friends have told me about it [investment scheme of 30 per cent yearly interest]. So I told them I'm wary of high interest rates."

"I don't like risky investments. I work hard and I am for safe investments - such as trust funds and special deposit account for my children," she added.

It was in response to the Borneo Insider's investigative team whose report, published by the Manila Times on January 30, said: "Among those victimised [by Aman] included senior Philippines government officers. Even the President's own sister Kris Aquino was said to be among them, who was said to have invested 50 million pesos."

An estimated 15,000 victims lost P12 billion (Dh1 billion) to Amalilio's "Ponzi-type" of investment scheme.

On January 25, Malaysian authorities stopped Amalilio's extradition because of alleged absence of extradition agreement between Malaysia and Philippines.

Also known as Malaysia's Mohammad Kamal Bin Sa'ad, Amalilio was arrested at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport in Sabah for possession of a fake passport under the name of Manuel Karingal.

In response to demands for Amalilio's return, President Benigno Aquino had said, "We expect him to be brought back to the Philippines and to face trial in the Philippines."

Giving justice to Amalilio's victims will "serve, hopefully, as a deterrent to others (from committing the same mistake)," the president added.

Earlier, the Regional Trial Court of Pagadian City in southern Philippines issued warrants of arrest for Amalilio and nine other executives of Aman Futures, for alleged "syndicated estafa".

Six of the executives, now in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation, have turned state witnesses.

Last week, Philippine Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar and Philippine Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya in Kuala Lumpur met with Malaysian authorities to initially request for the freezing of Amalilio's assets.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Feb 16, 2013
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