The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is filing cases against other officers of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC)—allegedly involved in the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist—before the Department of Justice in the next two weeks.
“In due time, we will have our recommendation to the council . . . So, we will—more or less—in the next two weeks file cases . . .“ lawyer Vincent Salido, deputy director for the AMLC Secretariat, told Senator Francis Escudero in a Senate briefing Monday.
Salido noted the AMLC already filed cases against RCBC Jupiter Makati branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito, casino junket operator Kim Wong and the officers of remittance firm Philrem Service Corp.
“Now, there’s a missing link there. What about the question of Sen. Chiz about the other RCBC officials? Investigation on that is ongoing,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the hearing.
“Definitely, we will file cases to complete the facts . . . The facts would not be complete without them, because the transactions went through them, the exchanges, the foreign exchanges – it went through RCBC,” he added.
Salido, however, declined to identify and how many more of the RCBC officers will be charged.
At the moment, he said, the AMLC Secretariat is in the process of filing the recommendations which will be forwarded to the council.
“It took us a long time, because we had to strengthen our evidence, especially since most evidence is in the bank. You think they’ll give it to us? Not necessarily. That’s why it had to be completed,” he added.
In February, hackers supposedly stole $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York City.
The funds were then transferred to fictitious accounts at the RCBC branch on Jupiter Street in Makati City.
Casino junket operator Kim Wong, one of the individuals supposedly involved, has returned $4.63 million and P488 million in cash to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
The amounts represent what Wong and his company, Eastern Hawaii Leisure Ltd., supposedly received from the $81 million in laundered funds.
In early August, the central bank imposed a P1-billion fine on RCBC in connection with the Yuchengco-led bank’s involvement in the money laundering scheme.
This was the largest fine ever imposed by the BSP on a financial institution. Days after, the bank paid the first tranche of the P1-billion fine that was supposed to be paid in two tranches.