MANILA – The Philippine government is committed to ensure the integrity of the country’s banking system as well as domestic financial transactions, a Palace official said Tuesday.
“The government supports all legal processes that are observed to ensure the integrity of all banking and financial transactions in the Philippines,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.
On Monday, Bangladesh’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said about 20 foreign nationals from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, China and Japan were allegedly involved in theft of about USD 101 million from the Bangladesh Bank last February.
The CID, however, declined to give specifics on these foreign nationals but added that there were also Bangladesh nationals who would be investigated on for their involvement in the heist.
Of the total funds stolen from the dollar account of the Bangladesh’s central bank with the Federal Reserve of New York, about USD 81 million ended in the Philippines.
The funds were transferred to four different accounts opened in the Jupiter-Makati branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in May 2015, which were idle until February this year.
These funds were consolidated to an account under the name of Chinese-Filipino businessman William Go, who repeatedly claimed that the account was not his and was opened without his knowledge.
The funds were then transferred to remittance company, Philrem Services Corp., for conversion before it was delivered in tranches to casino junket operator Kam Sin Wong, alias Kim Wong, businessman Weikang Xu, and casinos Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, and Bloombery Hotels Inc.
Meanwhile, Wong has again returned million pesos worth of money that was part of the funds stolen from the BB.
Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (ALMC) Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad, during a Senate hearing on the case on Tuesday, said the lawyer of Wong returned Php 200 million, which AMLC accepted for safekeeping.
This is the third time Wong’s camp turned over funds to AMLC after the USD 4.6 million last March 31 and the Php 38.28 million last April 4.