By Ben Rosario
The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) continues to conduct inquiries into bank accounts that were the source of finances of the Maute terrorist group that laid siege on Marawi City last year.
The Commission on Audit reported that the agency has issued AMLC Resolution Nos. TF-o9 and TF-10 that approved a freeze order on all bank accounts and other assets owned and controlled by the Maute Group.
Included in the freeze order is the P52 million cash recovered by government forces during the military operations to recover Marawi City, CoA revealed in its 2017 annual audit of the AMLC.
Bank inquiry on the bank accounts is ongoing,” the report stated.
AMLC froze the banked accounts of Maute and its supporters upon the request of the government during the height of the Marawi siege last year.
It will be recalled that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sought the freezing of assets and bank accounts of Maute-related persons following the recovery of cash found in a machinegun nest in one of the Marawi City buildings that was recovered by government troops.
Malacañang also suspected that funding assistance for Mindanao development coming from the now-defunct Australian Aid (AusAID) agency may have found its way to the war chest of the Maute terrorists.
This developed after the Weekend Australian reported on Nov 11 last year that the Australian government may have mistakenly poured money into the Maute coffers.
The help of AMLC was again sought by the Duterte government to determine the veracity of the Australian publication’s report.
In the same audit report, CoA disclosed that nearly the total amount of money subjected to freeze and forfeiture petitions filed in court had increased by P901,815,761 between 2016 and 2017.