BIR checking if Bangladesh Bank heist personalities paid taxes
BIR checking if Bangladesh Bank heist personalities paid taxes
'We're looking into it,' says BIR chief Kim Henares when asked about a possible BIR probe into people linked to the money laundering scam

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is looking into possible tax liabilities of the key people involved in the $81-million cyber heist, BIR chief Kim Henares said Tuesday, March 29.

“Every time there’s a controversy, whether it has a legislative investigation going on, we look into it, just to make sure we’re not negligent,” Henares said on the sidelines of the Management Association of the Philippines’ general membership meeting.

“We’re looking into it, if taxes are properly paid, then everyone does not have any problem. If taxes are not properly paid, then they will have a problem. Whoever needs to be investigated will be investigated,” she added.

Several personalities – bank managers, remittance agency owners, casino operators – are linked to the sensational money laundering scam that involved the electronic theft of money from Bangladesh Bank that was released through 5 fake accounts in the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation Jupiter branch in Makati, Metro Manila. (WATCH: Live: Senate hearing on bank heist)

Henares’ statement came as the Senate resumed its hearing on the scam. (READ: $951M stolen money would have gone to RCBC)

She herself reiterated that the bank secrecy law should be lifted. Henares earlier said that criminals have often hidden behind bank secrecy laws.

“I’ve always said that we should lift the bank secrecy law, because we should not be complicit to allowing a crime to be committed successfully. It should not be the case, where a criminal is able to escape because of the country’s laws,” she said.

The BIR chief said that the recent events only prove that the laws need updating. –


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