Yesterday, Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said the National Registration Department had verified that the 47-year-old suspect was born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
"When the suspect was arrested in Ranau, Sabah, on Jan 22, he was carrying a MyKad, birth certificate and driving licence. "He was also carrying a Philippine passport bearing the name of Manuel Karingal Amalilio.
"Manuel was on the Interpol wanted list after Philippine authorities sought assistance to locate him. He allegedly cheated 15,000 people before fleeing to Malaysia. However, police did not arrest the suspect because he was wanted by Philippine authorities.
He was nabbed because checks revealed that the Philippines passport he was carrying was a fake. Syed Ismail said the suspect was being probed under Section 12(1)(d) of the Passports Act 1966. If found guilty, he is liable to be fined RM10,000 or sentenced to five years' imprisonment, or both.
"The suspect's particulars and fingerprints were verified by the National Registration Department. We contacted our counterparts in the Philippines to ascertain if he is the person they were looking for." However, Syed Ismail said the suspect could not be deported to the Philippines as he was a Malaysian. Although the Philippine authorities wanted the suspect, they had not submitted any extradition request.
"There are procedures to be followed if a Malaysian is wanted by a foreign country for a crime he committed there." Syed Ismail said the name and age of Manuel, also known as Mohammad Sufian Said, did not tally with the suspect in custody. "We are working closely with the Philippine counterparts to confirm his identity and proper procedures must be followed before he can be extradited."
Sabah police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Talib denied that the suspect could not been deported to Manila because of the involvement of "higher authorities". "There are procedures that need to be complied with. The Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2002 has rules for providing international assistance in criminal matters. - Laporan Penuh di NST