BSP exec awaits result of Senate hearing on alleged money laundering

By , on March 14, 2016

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Wikipedia photo)
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Wikipedia photo)

MANILA – An official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) declined to comment on the alleged money laundering activities involving some USD 81 million coursed through a universal bank citing that this would be discussed further during a Senate hearing Tuesday.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. declined to comment on the issue after noting that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is now conducting an investigation on the case.

He said the central bank has issued Circular 706 in line with the Anti-Money Laundering Law and this Circular enumerates the expectations of the central bank with respect to banks and other BSP-supervised expectations.

These expectations include banks’ compliance with the know-your-customer (KYC) rule or customer due diligence, ongoing monitoring of transactions, reporting process and internal controls that need to be managed.

“But every bank has to establish its own internal policy on how it would implement these general expectations,” he added.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) President and CEO Lorenzo Tan on Monday said the bank’s Jupiter, Makati branch manager had admitted to opening an account for businessman William Go.

In a statement, lawyer Francis Lim said RCBC Jupiter Branch manager Maia Deguito had admitted in a television interview Monday, March 14, that she opened a dollar account for businessman William Go, without his consent, but upon orders from one Kim Wong.

He said this was a clear violation of banking rules, which she should clearly explain when she attends a Senate hearing on this Tuesday.

“This is a major break in the case and could prove devastating for Ms. Deguito because nobody can legally open an account for somebody else. Perhaps realizing she made a huge mistake, she is now saying the specimen signature of Mr. Go was not forged,” Lim said.

Earlier, Go, through his lawyer, Ramon Esguerra, denied opening the dollar accounts and claimed that his signature was forged.

Go’s camp is even mulling to file charges against Dequito, saying that the bank manager even offered him Php 10 million to own the account.

During the interview, Dequito denied the allegations thrown against her and instead claimed that it was the businessman who asked money from her.