DOJ to consolidate AMLC complaints on $81-M heist
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - May 26, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) will consolidate all three complaints filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) stemming from the $80.9 million stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh Bank and laundered in the country.

Prosecutor General Claro Arellano, chief of the DOJ’s prosecutorial arm, said the latest charges of money laundering against remittance firm Philrem Service Corp. would be consolidated with the first two similar charges filed by AMLC against former Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito and businessmen Kam Sin Wong, alias Kim Wong, and Weikang Xu.

“The latest AMLC complaint will also undergo preliminary investigation and will be consolidated with the first two related cases,” Arellano said yesterday.

Arellano said the complaint against Philrem president Salud Bautista, chairman of the board and treasurer Michael Bautista and anti-money laundering compliance officer Anthony Pelejo filed last month would be referred to Assistant State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra for hearing and resolution.

He said a separate subpoena would be issued in the next few days requiring the Philrem officers to appear before the prosecutor and answer the charges of money laundering under Section 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

In its 17-page complaint filed on April 27, the AMLC alleged the Philrem officers were part of the conspiracy to launder the stolen money after investigation showed a total of $61 million was eventually converted and transferred to Philrem’s peso account at the RCBC-Unimart Greenhills branch.

Pacamarra is already hearing the earlier complaints against Deguito and Wong filed last March and has set the next hearing on June 7.

Deguito formally denied the charges and filed with the prosecutor her counter-affidavit last May 3. She asked the DOJ to dismiss the charges for lack of probable cause. – With Christina Mendez

 

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