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Cyber heist: 6 bankers’ turn to face raps

The Justice department said Sunday the $81-million cyber heist in Bangladesh Bank in 2016 was not yet a closed case despite the conviction of former Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. bank manager Maia Deguito for money laundering last week by a Makati City court.

The department said the criminal charges for money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering Act against six other RCBC officers had yet to be resolved. 

Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon said the complaint filed by the AMLC against former RCBC treasurer Raul Victor Tan, national sales director for retail banking Ismael Reyes, regional sales director for retail banking Brigitte Capiña, direct sales director Nestor Pineda, customer service head for Jupiter business center Romualdo Agarrado, and senior customer relations officer for the Jupiter business center Angela Ruth Torres had not yet been resolved.

“There is no resolution yet from the preliminary investigation earlier conducted on that case,” Fadullon said in a text message.

But Fadullon, head of the National Prosecution Service, could not say when the resolution on the charges filed in Nov. 2016 would be released, saying he would check with the prosecutors assigned to the case.

“We will check on the status of the case first before we can give a timetable on when the resolution could be released,” he said.

The pendency of the case means a possibility of another trial on the Bangladesh Bank heist in court should the prosecutors find probable cause to indict Tan and the five other respondents.

Tan, brother of former national treasurer and now Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. president Roberto Tan, resigned in April 2016 “out of decency and honor” while Torres was reportedly dismissed after she and Deguito were found to have been involved in the money laundering scheme.

Bangladesh Ambassador Asad Alam Siam has called on the Justice department to resolve the separate case against other RCBC officers as he said their government also plans to file a lawsuit in New York against the executives of RCBC.

In its complaint, the AMLC accused Tan and the five other respondents of criminal liability over the laundering of the stolen money from Bangladesh Bank that shook the domestic financial system as well as the gaming industry.

The AMLC said “in consequence of his failure to order enhanced due diligence on the high-risk accounts and to continue the hold on the beneficiary accounts, Tan facilitated the commission of money laundering under Section 4(f) of the AMLA, as amended.”

Citing evidence gathered from RCBC, the AMLC said “there were suspicious indications of violations of the AMLA, as amended, or red flags, which deserved further investigations by RCBC.”

“Tan was in a position to order enhanced due diligence based on the red flags. Tan could have convened the anti-money laundering committee to act on these red flags,” the AMLC said.

“Despite awareness of the suspicious circumstances concerning [four suspicious beneficiary] accounts, Tan willfully ignored them and failed to conduct a thorough investigation as required by law and regulations, and RCBC’s own money laundering and terrorist financing prevention program. This is knowledge that the funds transacted represented the proceeds of an unlawful activity.”

Only Deguito has been indicted in court in the case. Last week, the Makati Regional Trial Court  Branch 149 found Deguito guilty of money laundering and sentenced her to four to seven years in prison for each of the eight counts.

Topics: Bangladesh Bank , Maia Deguito , Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp , Roberto Tan , Rizal Commercial Banking Corp
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