The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has reportedly frozen the assets of two suspected drug money launderers involved in a P1.8-billion shabu shipment in 2019.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) identified the suspects as Ruben Taguba, a former Customs policeman, and trader Julie Hao Gamboa.
According to a recent Philippine Star report, the AMLC was able to freeze the bank accounts, insurance policies, real properties and motor vehicles of Taguba and Hao after getting the go-signal from the Court of Appeals.
Reports said Ruben Taguba is the father of ex-Customs broker Mark Taguba who is currently in detention after being implicated in the importation of P6.4 billion in illegal drugs at the Bureau of Customs in 2017.
The AMLC freeze order is said to cover 173 bank and credit accounts; 17 real estate properties in Quezon City valued at some P70 million; and five motor vehicles belonging to the two suspects.
The PDEA said the freeze order also includes the assets of Taguba’s wife, Teresita.
In March 2019, authorities seized some 276 kilograms of shabu worth P1.8 billion concealed inside a container van originating from Vietnam.
The PDEA said that the suspected owner of the shabu shipment, identified as a Chinese drug trafficker named Xu Zhi Jian.
According to the PDEA, Xu, who is a foreigner, relied heavily on the suspects for help in the local distribution of the shabu as well as his other illegal transactions.