BB heist: Philippines orders to bring money laundering charges against Philrem Corp owners

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Bangladesh Bank logoThe Philippines’ justice department has ordered the filing of charges of money laundering against the owners of local remittance firm Philrem Service Corp in connection with the $81 million Bangladesh Bank cyber heist in 2016, reports Inquirer.Net.

The Philippine media report stated that in a 23-page resolution dated 12 December 2019, justice undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand Sugay reversed an earlier department ruling dismissing the charges against the remittance firm’s owners.

Quoting Adrian Ferdinand, it added that Philrem, a covered institution under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, failed to report to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) the series of suspicious transactions that paved the way to conceal money stolen from the central bank of Bangladesh almost four years ago.

“Since Philrem Service Corp is a covered institution under Republic Act No. 9160, as amended, its officers are and should be charged with full knowledge of the corporation’s legal obligations,” the resolution was quoted by the media outlet.

“That [their] suspicious transaction report said so little despite what the law very clearly required betrays an attempt on the part of the corporation’s responsible officers to conceal, what is, in truth, a very irregular, if not downright illegal, transaction,” it further quoted.

In 2019, a Manila court on Thursday convicted Maia Deguito, a former branch manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), for cyber heist of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank in 2016.

The court found former RCBC branch manager Maia Deguito guilty of eight counts of money laundering and sentenced her to a jail term ranging from 32 to 56 years.

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