They are after a man identified by the Philippine authorities as Moham-mad Suffian Syed, who is also known in the Philippines as Manuel Karingal Amalillo.
The Sabahan is believed to have fled back to the state last month after cheating more than 15,000 investors through his company named Aman Future Group Philip-pines Inc.
Manila has sought Interpol’s and Malaysia’s help to track down the suspect. As Malaysia does not have an extradition treaty with the Philippines, those allegedly cheated made the trip to Sabah personally to recover their money.
One of the groups represented by lawyer Bloumpar Adiong said it wanted to meet the man and try to get back the money.
Most of them had invested through Barakah Trading and Twin Khan Trading, which were authorised by Aman Future Group.
“We went to his office in Damai but there was no one. We have followed some leads but we can’t locate him,” said Adiong.
“My clients are in danger in the Philippines as they facilitated some of the investments into the scheme that promised returns of up to 67%,” he said, adding that many people put in all their savings, mortgaged their homes and borrowed to invest in the scheme operated under Aman Future Group.
The Malaysian mastermind claim-ed that he was related to a prominent Sabah politician. He had even portrayed himself as a very religious man and warned investors against putting their money in Ponzi schemes.
“My clients trusted him because when he started the business the interest was paid out a few weeks before the due date. For five to six months the business was running smoothly,” he said, adding that in the first round he offered 30% returns and 50% in the second one.
“But in the third round when he offered 63% returns, he ran off by early November after taking all the investments,” said Adiong.
His clients had partnered the Malaysian through their companies. Some had flown in his private jet and helicopter whenever he was in the Mindanao area.
Among those scammed in the pyramid scheme were local officials, government employees, police and military officers.
By MUGUNTAN VANAR