Deguito feared for her life – witness

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THE bank manager of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Jupiter Branch in Makati City, Maia Deguito, facilitated the transfer of huge amounts of cash because she feared for her life and the safety of her family, a witness told senators on Thursday.

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Romualdo Agarrado, a reserve officer of RCBC, claimed to have witnessed how Deguito withdrew P20 million from the bank account of William So Go on February 5, 2016 and load it on her car.

On February 9, Deguito called Agarrado and her assistant, senior customer relations officer Angela Torres, to her office to explain what happened earlier.

She told them that she had to proceed with the transactions otherwise she or her family will be killed.

Agarrado said he got scared because of Deguito’s statement.

“She just looked at me with a blank stare and said: I would rather do this than get killed, or my family,” Agarrado said.

In a scam that shocked the financial world, unknown hackers tried to steal around $1 billion from Bangladesh’s deposits with the US Federal Reserve in New York on February 5.

They got away with $81 million — sending it to the RCBC branch managed by Deguito — before the scam was uncovered.

Authorities have lost track of the money, with significant amounts believed to have been laundered through Philippine casinos.

Although low-level bank officers in Manila have been implicated, no-one yet knows who was behind the heist.

Acting on a request from the US Federal Reserve, RCBC headquarters issued an order to recall the $81 million from Deguito’s branch on February 5.

But on that day, Deguito transferred $66 million to accounts of businessman William Go, RCBC legal affairs head Maria Celia Fernandez-Estavillo said.

Pressed by senators, Deguito denied being fearful for her life. The senators granted her request for a closed-door executive session.

Fernandez-Estavillo told the senators that the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh Bank eventually ended up in the account of Philrem, a foreign exchange brokerage.

Philrem President Salud Bautista said $30 million was transferred to a casino junket operator who is of Chinese descent.

The rest of the money was transferred to Philippine casinos, $29 million to Bloomberry Resorts, which operates the Solaire mega-casino in Manila, according to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Another $21 million was transferred to Eastern Hawaii Leisure, which operates a casino that caters to a mainly Chinese clientele in the northern province of Cagayan, it said. With AFP

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6 Comments

  1. Strange that Deguito denied saying she feared for her life after the Senate asked her to confirm Agarrado’s statements. I know for a fact that Deguito said she feared for her life in a televised interview she gave after she was offloaded from her flight to Japan. Deguito also wrote VACC a letter stating that she was under threat and feared for her life. So why did Deguito deny Agarrado’s declaration in the Senate? Because it would incriminate her?

  2. matino na pinoy on

    I have been saying all these times that it was an inside job and Deguito knows everything because she was deeply involved on the whole thing. Do not let her get away, and the best way to secure her is to put her behind bars, and interrogation must continue until the whole picture surfaces. Take everything away from her, such as her rights as an accused, her liberty, and her dignity, and continue interrogation. Interrogators / investigators and the government should stop being so nice to her,

  3. feared for her life.? then why did she not call the police? she is one of the crooks involved. another typical corruption in the country. this shows the people both in government and private can be bought. and not blame again the Pnoy administration. but us as one of the most corrupt people in the world. and yet we think we are a country of laws or where is the rule of law here. puro investigation. how about some jailing of this crooks.

  4. The Chinese descent could be Mr. Atong Ang, one of the best friends of Erap and now suspected to be one of the financiers of Grace P. Llmanzares in her candidacy. Agangan!

    • The Chinese is Mr. Wong . Per police records he was sued in year 2000 2001. He is connected with the Chinese triad, a Chinese Mafia. A few million dollars was remitted to him by Dequito. He is the connect to the Chinese hackers. Connect the dots. Mr Wong knowing the consequences of this crime fled to Singapore for medical reason. Miss Deguito was late in moving to Japan where she will disappear protected by the Chinese mafia. Chinese won, Filipina, the stupid one, lost and will spend the rest of her life in jail.

    • Lamang sa tama ang sinabi mo Inocent. Matindi “Ang” mga kaibigan, backers at financers ni American Grace, Ramon at Atong na, me Danding pah. Matindi!!!