Authorities recover P79 million in cash and checks in Marawi home

Marawi City (CNN Philippines, June 6) — Government forces recovered almost ₱80 million in cash and checks after flushing out Maute fighters in a house in Marawi City on Monday.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, Task Force Marawi spokesperson Jo-Ar Herrera and Marine officers said P52.2 million in cash and P27 million-worth of stale checks were found inside a vault during a house-to-house clearing operation near Mapandi bridge.

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Philippine monetary authorities have yet to verify if the cash and checks discovered by the Marines are fictitious.  Some of the checks discovered were those of Philippine National Bank, PS Bank, and Veterans Bank.

Incoming Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla said they have yet to receive communication from investigators, and added that it is too early to come up with a conclusion.

Veterans Bank head of Corporate Communications Mike Villa-Real said under the anti-money laundering rules, all transactions amounting to P500,000 and above are automatically reported to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Maute terrorists are being funded by foreign terror groups and illegal drug money.

Herrera said an M-16 rifle and several firearms were also recovered after government forces took over what they called a "machine gun nest."

Herrera said they requested for an investigation on the cash and checks, and as to who owns the house, which he described as "well-built."

Marine Major Rowan Rimas said it is possible the house is owned by a Maute member.

"It was under the control of the Maute group because prior to the assault of the troops, there is a gun mount in that area. And our troops were being fired upon," he said.

He said the recovered cash and checks, including some indicating "pay to cash," show the Maute group is on the run.

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