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Bank manager Deguito got 'laundered' money, RCBC officer says

Maia S. Deguito, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) branch manager, testifies before the Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe into how about $81 million of Bangladesh's stolen funds were transmitted online to four private accounts at a branch of the RCBC Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. In a related development, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman told reporters he was ready to quit after hackers managed to divert $101 million from the country's account with the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines - Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. bank manager Maia Santos-Deguito herself got money from the supposed account of businessman William Go, which was then loaded onto her car, a bank officer told senators on Thursday.

At the resumption of the Senate's investigation into the alleged money laundering of some $81 million dollars hacked and stolen from the Bank of Bangladesh, Romualdo Agarrado - customer service head at the bank's Jupiter branch until February this year - said that he saw the money loaded into Deguito's vehicle, which was parked in front of the bank.

He said that on February 5 - the day when RCBC said $22 million was put into the Go account - Deguito's assistant, Angela Torres, requested P20 million from the bank's cash center, which was delivered by armored car.

He said the teller then put the money in a box, which was brought to Deguito's office. He said the branch messenger, a certain Jovy Morales, then looked for a paper bag to put the money in and then brought it to the branch manager's car.

"Kitang-kita ko po kasi nakaupo po ako sa table [facing] the main door of the branch. Personally, nakita ko," he said.

Maria Cecilia Fernandez-Estavillo, RCBC legal and regulatory affairs head, had earlier said that the bank found in an internal investigation that the account opening documents and the withdrawal slips for the supposed Go accounts were to a "high degree of certainty" not signed by Go, who has repeatedly denied having an account at the RCBC Jupiter branch. She added that Torres told bank auditors that the money was brought to Go's "Lexus SUV" and that she saw him sign the withdrawal slip.

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Go, before the hearing, signed a waiver of bank secrecy while maintaining that the account is not his.

Torres: William Go received the money

Torres, in an interview over dzMM TeleRadyo, insisted that she saw Go and that he signed the withdrawal slip himself.

"Totoo naman po yun na si William Go po yung kumuha ng pera, ako po ang nagpa-sign sa kanya," she said in an interview on the Dos Por Dos radio show. She said that Go was in a Lexus SUV and that she was familiar with Go because he had withdrawn money from the branch before.

"Binaba ni Mr. William Go yung salamin. Nandoon po siya sa passenger's seat. Kilala ko po siya," she said.

She said that she has since resigned from RCBC after allegedly being grilled by bank auditors, officers and lawyers.

She insisted that Deguito, who was in an executive session with senators on Thursday afternoon, did nothing wrong. - Jonathan de Santos

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