Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) President and Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Tan’s legal counsel Francis Lim called on lawyer Ferdinand Topacio to stop dragging Tan’s name into the $81-million money laundering scandal plaguing the bank.
In a statement, Lim said Topacio should realize that his client, RCBC Jupiter Branch manager Maia Deguito, had admitted in a radio interview that she only “assumed” Tan knew about the $81-million transaction that is now being investigated by anti-money laundering authorities.
The funds were part of $100 million reportedly stolen by hackers from an account of the Bangladesh Central Bank at the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York last month.
According to Lim, Deguito said she is not accusing the RCBC chief of knowing about the money-laundering transaction.
“This directly contradicts her previous position that Mr. Tan ‘knew,’” Lim said.
“So instead of asking RCBC to sanction Mr. Tan, Atty. Topacio should assist his client to explain the accusation of Mr. William Go that she [Deguito] opened an account in her branch without his knowledge, used this account for deposit and withdrawal without his knowledge and identify who forged Mr. Go’s signature to withdraw money,” he added.
Go, one of the businessmen linked to the alleged $81-million money laundering case, earlier claimed that his signature had been forged by Deguito to open an account under his name.
Tan’s legal counsel said Topacio should busy himself explaining why his client attempted to fly to Japan “which has been perceived as flight and therefore an implied admission of guilt.”
Topacio earlier said he would file charges against Bureau of Immigration officials and other government agencies after BI officials stopped Deguito from boarding a plane bound for Japan on Friday.
Immigration agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 asked the Jupiter Branch manager to disembark from Philippine Airlines Flight PR432, telling her she could not leave the country because she was on an immigration watch list.