CHINESE casino junket operator Kam Sin “Kim” Wong had control of four fictitious bank accounts opened at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Jupiter Branch where the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh Bank was deposited, according to former branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito.
At the resumption of the investigation of the Senate blue ribbon committee on the multimillion-dollar money laundering on Tuesday, Deguito said Kim Wong also used the name Jessie Christopher Lagrosas.
She admitted lying to the bank when she was asked who instructed her to transfer the funds to the account of businessman William Go.
“During the time that I answered the show-cause [memo]I wasn’t ready to name the personalities behind those referred accounts,” Deguito told Sen. Sergio Osmena 3rd.
In her response letter, read to the committee by Macel Fernandez-Estavillo, head of RCBC’s Legal and Regulatory Group, she claimed that it was Lagrosas who called her on December 8, 2015 to set up an additional peso account.
“When she speaks of Mr. Lagrosas, I’m speaking of Mr. Kim Wong,” Deguito confessed.
Osmena asked Deguito why she got instructions from Wong on what to do with the RCBC accounts of Michael Francisco Cruz, Enrico Teodoro Vasquez, Alfred Santos Vergara and Lagrosas.
“I met these account holders through him [Wong] and Mr. Wong acted as their authorized representative to inquire balances and give instructions,” Deguito replied.
Wong admitted instructing Deguito to set up accounts for Cruz, Vasquez, Vergara and Lagrosas.
He said he met Deguito at Solaire Resort and Casino on December 8 after Chinese junket operator Shuhua Gao requested him to open peso accounts because he already have the money to pay a P450-million debt to Wong.
Deguito said that after she opened the accounts, she delivered the passbook to Wong at Solaire and Wong handed it to Gao.
Also during the hearing, Mark Palmares, messenger of remittance firm Philrem, told the senators that he delivered the money to Solaire Resort and Casino on February 5 upon the instruction of Salud Bautista, president of Philrem.
Palmares, who attended the hearing for the first time, said he picked up the cash — P90 million and $500,000 — at their office in Makati City (Metro Manila).
He said he loaded the money in a trolley and proceeded to the VIP lounge of the casino where Bautista was waiting.
Palmares also admitted delivering cash to the house of Bautista from February 9 to February 13.
In his sworn affidavit, he said that in his deliveries from February 10 to 13, it was Michael Bautista, husband of Salud, who facilitated the issuance of receipts.
But Renato De Jesus, the notary public who allegedly notarized the affidavit of Palmares, claimed that his signature was forged.
De Jesus told the senators that he did not sign the affidavit of Palmares that was submitted by Salud Bautista during the Senate hearing held on April 12.
But Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile doubted the claim of de Jesus, pointing out that the lawyer’s identifying professional numbers found on Palmares’ affidavit were correct.
“No one can record this on your notarial book unless you allowed it,” Enrile said.