Ex-bank manager to face charges in Philippines others cleared

Hurricane Irma upgraded to category 5
September 5, 2017
As market headwinds abound, high dividend stocks may find favor
September 9, 2017

Ex-bank manager to face charges in Philippines others cleared

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine prosecutors have recommended the filing of charges against a former bank manager for her part in laundering of thousands of dollars stolen from Bangladesh’s central bank last year but cleared two casino representatives and a remittance company. A Department of Justice (DOJ) resolution said it had dropped charges filed by the government’s Anti-Money Laundering Council against Philrem Service Corp, which had predicted the remittance company a “cleaning house” annually in the movement of funds from among the world’s biggest cyber-heists. The DOJ resolution was dated Aug 24 but was distributed on Thursday. Hackers broke into Bangladesh Bank’s account in the New York Federal Reserve in February last year and sought to move nearly $1 billion, mostly to accounts in the Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) Banks blocked or reversed many of the transfer orders, but it was made by $ 81 million at RCBC to accounts in names. The majority of the funds disappeared into Manila casino market. The DOJ urged that Maia Deguito, a former branch manager at RCBC, and four unknown folks who opened accounts in fake names be charged with “eight counts of breach of their Anti-Money Laundering Act”. FILE PHOTO: Commuters pass by the front of the Bangladesh bank building in Dhaka March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ashikur Rahman/File Photo Deguito’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio explained the recommendation as “a travesty of justice of the worst kind”. “The DOJ has, in effect, come to the laughable conclusion that a mere bank manager stole $81 million from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Bangladesh, and laundered it through the Philippine banking system and the casino complex, all by her lonesome self,” he stated in a mobile text message to colleagues. The DOJ defeated junket operator Weikang Xu and casino boss Kim Wong of any accountability, but the resolution didn’t explain why saying the dismissal of the cases against them stands. Wong has returned nearly $15 million of the funds that were stolen. Philrem has denied charges that it was used to launder the money. The DOJ said the company escaped criminal charges after its owners showed proof that they had alerted authorities about the transactions. RCBC was fined a record one billion pesos ($19.64 million) by the Philippine central bank for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen money through its bank, even though a high Bangladeshi investigator has said he guessed some IT technicians from the Dhaka-based bank helped the hackers carry out the heist. ($1 = 50.9150 Philippine pesos) Reporting By Manuel Mogato; Editing By Raju GopalakrishnanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Comments are closed.