De Lima orders reopening of NBI probe on rice smuggling

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Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. Photo courtesy of Bulatlat.com
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. Photo courtesy of Bulatlat.com

MANILA, 28Dec2013 (PNA) – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima on Friday ordered the reopening of the investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) into a certain David Tan and Danny Ngo, alleged financiers of a rice smuggling syndicate in the country.

Likewise, De Lima also confirmed that the NBI has earlier investigated the issue when the DOJ received the referral letter from the Senate on March 16, 2013.

However, De Lima said, the NBI-Anti Graft Division temporarily stopped the investigation after the lapse of 90 days.

De Lima said that based on the report of NBI-AGD Chief Romulo Asis, the first deadline of the six groups of investigators was 30 days, however, she extended it for several times.

She added that after the lapse of 90 days that there was still no significant development in the investigation and the real identity of David Tan and Danny Ngo have not yet been determined, the investigators decided to temporarily suspend the investigation.

De Lima said that the NBI will try to look for possible informants or whistleblowers for the investigation to proceed.

Among those summoned by the NBI in their investigation then were representatives of cooperatives who were named during the investigation by the Senate.

The representatives of the cooperatives appeared at the NBI, but it was discovered that 24 cooperatives named in the Senate investigation were “non-existent”.

On the other hand, the existing cooperatives, the representatives of which, claimed that they did not know anything about the “modus” of the group of Tan and Ngo, adding that, they were possibly merely used as front or cover-up in the operation of the rice smuggling syndicate. (PNA)

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