MANILAThe Court of Appeals has maintained the freeze order on the two bank accounts allegedly used by a convicted drug lord to launder millions of pesos.
In a three-page resolution dated June 31 penned by Associate Justice Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang and was concurred by Associate Justices Ramon Paul Hernando and Maria Elisa Sempio Diy, the CA's Former Special Third Division, denied the motions for reconsideration filed by Jeffrey Su Go, Jean Pearl Yana Go, and Jin Zhang of its decision issued on June 16, 2017.
The appellate court, in the said ruling, reinstated the freeze order covering Banco de Oro Account Number 48980090 jointly owned by Jeffrey and Jean and Metrobank Account Number 7640028854 owned by Jin.
The two bank accounts were originally subject of a provisional asset preservation order (PAPO) issued on Jan. 5, 2017 by the Manila Regional Trial Court after investigation by the Anti-money Laundering Council discovered that convicted drug lord Albert Chin transferred a total of PHP18.31 million to the joint account of the Gos from September 2012 to August 2013.
Chin was the leader of a group charged by the DOJ before the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City in 2013 for possession of illegal drugs. The drug bust conducted by the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force resulted in the seizure of around 432 kilos of shabu amounting to PHP2 billion.
During the operation, authorities confiscated several items including a transaction ticket for the deposit of PHP3.68 million to the Go couple's account and a PHP4-million manager's check payable to Zhang.
Chin and five other co-accused were convicted in September 2016 by the Olongapo RTC.
The CA said the lower court should not have ruled out the possibility that the money came from Chin's illegal drug activities.
It added the respondents' arguments were not sufficient to warrant the lifting of the PAPO.
We emphasize the finding of probable cause that funds deposited to private respondents' accounts are sourced from Albert Chin's involvement with illegal drug trafficking, the CA said.
In view of said finding, the issuance of the PAPO against the accounts of private respondents Go, among others, is to give the government the necessary time to prepare its case without having to worry about the possible dissipation of the assets that in any way may be related to the suspected illegal activity, it explained. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency