GUINGONA QUOTES DEGUITO’S TESTIMONY:

‘Go wanted 10% of $81M’

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Businessman William So Go demanded a 10 percent cut from the stolen $81 million that entered the country last month, Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd disclosed on Monday, quoting statements made by Maia Santos-Deguito, Jupiter Branch manager of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC).

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Guingona, chairman of the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), confirmed to The Manila Times in a text message that Deguito told senators that Go wanted 10 percent of the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh Bank for him to “play along” in the scheme.

The money, stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on February 5, was wired to four bank accounts at the RCBC Jupiter Branch.

RCBC legal affairs head Maria Celia Fernandez-Estavillo, who testified at the Senate, said the $81 million eventually ended up in the account of Philrem, a foreign exchange brokerage.

Philrem president Salud Bautista told senators that $30 million was transferred to a casino junket operator, $29 million to Bloomberry Resorts, which operates the Solaire mega-casino in Manila, and $21 million was transferred to Eastern Hawaii Leisure, which operates a casino in Cagayan Valley.

Go, during the Senate investigation of the money laundering, insisted that he does not have any account at the RCBC Jupiter Branch.

The businessman admitted having an RCBC account but it was in the Trinoma branch in Quezon City.

He also denied being involved in the heist.

In his testimony, Go claimed that it was Deguito who offered him money so that he will go along with the transaction but he refused.

Senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd also on Monday said Deguito’s testimony is closer to the truth compared to the statements of other resource persons invited by the Senate.

Osmeña, vice chairman of the blue ribbon committee, said Deguito’s statements were more believable because these can be checked out.

The senator, in an interview aired by ANC, cited a portion of Deguito’s testimony where she narrated the time when she met five persons who owned the RCBC dollar accounts where the $81 million was deposited.

According to Osmeña, Deguito told them that Kim Wong, one of the personalities being investigated in the money laundering mess, invited her for snacks at Midas Hotel where she was introduced to five men.

Osmena said Deguito told them that Wong instructed her to open dollar accounts for the five individuals.

Wong even gave her the IDs and information sheets required in opening an account.

“We asked Ms. Deguito, ‘Did you check whether the IDs looked valid?’ And she said, ‘Yes, that was their photos on the IDs, the IDs looked authentic, so I took it for granted, I took Mr. Kim Wong’s word for it,” Osmena said, quoting Deguito.

Deguito, the senator added, also told them that Wong sent her $2,500 in cash for the minimum balance of the five accounts.

Only four accounts were used, however.

The senator could be referring to the dollar accounts of Michael Cruz, Jessie Lagrosas, Alfred Vergara, Enrico Vasquez and businessman William Go that were opened in May 2015.

It was in Go’s account that the money was deposited after they were withdrawn from the four accounts last month.

Osmeña said there is a possibility that Wong could be one of the major players in the scam because he was the one who called the RCBC Jupiter Branch on February 5 to check if the deposits had been made.

During the blue ribbon hearing last week, Deguito admitted knowing Wong through Jason Go, a car trader and a valued client of RCBC.

She also linked Wong to RCBC president Lorenzo Tan and claimed that it was the RCBC president who instructed her during a birthday party of a common friend, to “take care” of Wong.

“I think Deguito was closer to the truth. It was fairly easy to check out most of her facts,” Osmeña said

“We want to know also what are the other activities William Go, Jason Go, Eastern Hawaiian and the other companies do. This might give us an indication whether they operate more outside the law than within the law. Then we also want to nail down the process that the casinos undertake when they receive this money,” he added.

Meanwhile, the senator rejected a statement of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. that the money was laundered through the bank before it reached the casinos.

“That’s not true, that’s the exact opposite. It’s the casino that launders the money, but the moment it goes to the casino to a name like Weikang Xu, it disappears because it becomes co-mingled with all the money as they play at the casino,” Osmeña said.

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14 Comments

  1. some Chinese guys are involved but do not blame all the Chinese in the Philippines.

    All involved should go to jail. Your comment should not be published by the Manila Times because you are saying that all the Chinese should be killed.

    Ignorant.

  2. Paul Dela Costa on

    Supporting documents used during the withdrawal includes a FAKE ID and a FAKE driver’s license. The date of the license issuance is the same day of bank withdrawal. And the withdrawal slips show signatures of Deguito AND Angela Torres. Wala ka nang lusot, Deguito. So much for faking documents.

  3. Close all casinos operate in the Philippines run by the chinese syndicate who came from mainland china.. This lousy government of Pinokyo allows this gambling in our country tolerated by the Catholic church.. Nassan si tagle para batikusin ang mga casino operators sa ating bansa.. This is not invesstment… This is vices, gambling..masyado ng marumi ang gobyernong ito ni pinokyo..

  4. nagbabago-bago na naman ang mga facts ni maia deguito. sa simula pa lang nagbago na nung sinabi niya na aaminin niya lahat sabay panay invoke niya sa hearing. tapos wala ka rin ginawang mali? eh ano yung ginawa mo hindi ba mali yung pag forge at falsify ng accounts? lalo na rin na ginawa mo ang bank acocounts na yun matagal pa bago mangyari ang heist. papaano nangyari mga yun, deguito? ano pa bang katotohanan ang babaluktotin mo?

    • Agree! Sa March 29 makakarinig na naman tayo ng mas marami pang kasinungalingan! Ikaw na Deguito kampon ni Satanas! Sobrang sinungaling lang. What are we waiting for? Put that bitch behind bars!

  5. These chinese people involved are very intelligent. It is a fact that they befriended the higher level of RCBC management with the intention to make the low level manager like Deguito and Torres as fall guys. Be careful with these chinese, They will grab our whole country in the future.

  6. It’s a conspiracy between banks and casinos. Pag pumutok, ang iipitin ay mga pawns like deguito and torres. Nasan ang mga intsik na mga masterminds? I’m sure lahat ng senators, even the government, will not touch any players like Tan, Go et al.

    • RCBC should explain there process at the Branch Level how to withdraw such a big amount. How Head Office can’t be involve in the approving process. That amount could be the sum of all the depositors saving meaning wasn’t there a red flag since it looks like a bank run …

  7. You are wrong. When the dirty money enters the bank, it is laundered by the bank not the casinos. The casinos do not know if the money was stolen. The hacked telegraphic transfer is dirty money. Once the bank accepts the dirty money, that means the bank is laundrying the money. When the money leaves the bank, it is clean and laundered money. As you can see, the casinos did not receive the telegraphic transfer because the casinos will check specially there was a stop payment order was made. The casinos are not stupid, RCBC is stupid. 81 million dollars came in via telegraphic transfer and yet the head office did not check. It did not verify the source. Not only that, they should hold any withdrawal because of the AMLAC rules of 500,000 limit. That is the reason I conclude that there is an RCBC higher official that control this transaction.

    • Swift transfer transactions goes through the bank’s Treasury department. Sa Treasury palang nasilip na nila itong transaction na ito..at yung mga Officers duon sa department na alerto na..paano nakalusot ito? Meron yan approval sa taas.. The treasury department can always hold the money and re-confirm the transaction from the originating bank. Itong kaso ng RCBC na ito, mismong head office nagsabi legal yung transaction kaya nakalusot papunta sa branch at naideposito sa mga suspicious accounts. May nakialam sa RCBC HQ.

    • Agree 100%, hey you must be within my league a veteran Auditor. To further your theory did RCBC filed the necessary form to BSP about breaching the 500K mark, if not, then what is the Internal Control thing with this Bank, only for show? Dequito is the pawn and above her are the masterminds. Chinese connections are only revealed because there was this Bangla third party. How about money coming from other dubious places ( Burma, Macau, Mexico…. )..let the BSP auditors do their TOT and more will be revealed…Chinese owned/control banks are now considered AMLAC Risk and must be identified with RED FLAG..

  8. Deport all these Chinese (include Binay) to mainland China. Any crime committed in the Philippines involves the Chinese. The NPAs should liquidate all the Chinese in the Philippines.