Bangladesh envoy blasts RCBC for refusing to pay up

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BANGLADESH Ambassador to the Philippines John Gomes on Wednesday hit back at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) for refusing to admit responsibility and to return money allegedly stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh central bank.

“RCBC has to accept its failures and negligence when they did not adhere to stop payment instructions as was also discussed extensively in the Senate,” Gomes told The Manila Times.

He pointed out that RCBC was already made liable when it was fined P1 billion by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Last week, the Anti-Money Laundering Council filed criminal charges against two former and four current officials of the Yuchengo-led RCBC before the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the $81-million heist.

Accused of money laundering were former RCBC treasurer Raul Victor Tan; Ismael Reyes, national sales director under the bank’s retail banking group; Brigitte Capiña, regional sales director; Nestor Pineda, direct sales director; Romualdo Agarrado, customer service head of the RCBC Jupiter Business Center; and Angela Ruth Torres, former senior customer relations officer.

“$15 million has been already returned to Bangladesh which went through RCBC treasury, and then other amounts transferred to different quarters including a large amount landing into casinos illegally,” Gomes said.

Gomes also said the Bangladesh Criminal Investigation Department was carrying out its own investigation in the February heist, in which $81 million in Bangladesh Bank reserves at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York made their way to RCBC accounts and laundered to remittance agents and big casinos.

In a statement on Tuesday, RCBC claimed it was not liable to pay any amount and urged Bangladesh Bank to be transparent to the Philippine government on the results of its own investigation.

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7 Comments

  1. Bangladesh wants a trial by publicity. If Bangladesh were sure of its position in the case, it should file a case in the proper courts instead of asking the senate to stage another investigation in aid of grandstanding and publicity. No serious judgment can come out of a senate investigation. Only a court of law can do that. Why is Bangladesh resorting to trial by publicity? Is Bangladesh trying to bully and harass Philippine institutions into doing its bidding? Bangladesh cannot just wave away its incompetence, negligence and the collaboration of insiders at the Bangladesh Central Bank. It cannot just say that it is irrelevant, because they are just as culpable as the hackers themselves. RCBC was penalized for negligence. That is not the same as being criminally liable because it does not establish criminal intent. If Bangladesh were so sure that RCBC acted with criminal intent, it should just stop waging a war of publicity and just file the case in the proper forum. Otherwise, it seems that Bangladesh only wants to bully and take advantage of Philippine institutions because it thinks that we are weak. Otherwise, Bangladesh should also file cases against U.S. institutions which were even more negligent than RCBC. But, perhaps, Bangladesh wants to go after helpless Filipinos than go after the mighty Americans.

  2. FYI

    The money was sent in the phils. thru varrious acct. and therefore it is covered under phil. law , no one can’t stop payment except court order.

    Under section (2) of the R.A. 1405 the bank could not reveal any depositor, unless otherwise there’s a lawful order from the court.

  3. So white collar crime here in the philippines is alive and well. And has better return, less efforts than illegal drugs.

    Senate and congress should act now, no delay, unless they are protecting themselves and their donors.

  4. The Philippines not returning the stolen money, Anyone surprised ?

    The government should revoke whatever permits this bank needs to operate in the country and force their closure.

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