MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-Chinese businessman William So Go allegedly asked Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito for 10% of the $81-million stolen funds from Bangladesh Bank, so he would go along with the scheme and keep quiet about it.
This was the statement of RCBC Jupiter-Makati branch manager Deguito, according to Senator Teofisto Guingona III. (READ: RCBC manager: I’d rather release money than get myself killed’)
“Deguito is saying otherwise…That Go was asking her 10% of the $81 million para pumayag siya or para maayos problema (to agree or settle the problem). That’s what she said,” Guingona said in an interview at the Manila Hotel on Monday, March 21.
But Go’s lawyer Ramon Esguerra denied Deguito’s claim, saying the branch manager was the one who offered the businessman P10 million to participate in the scheme and keep quiet about it.
“This is not true. She offered P10 million,” Esguerra told Rappler in a text message.
“Mr Go declined as according to him, he is not stupid to legitimize an otherwise illegal account. His demand was for Mrs Deguito to clear his name from the anomaly,” he added.
Esguerra told reporters last March 11 that Go’s initial reaction was “to write to RCBC immediately because they are in the best position to know.” (READ: $81-M bank heist money trail hits dead end in casinos)
Go is the former owner of S&R Membership Shopping (formerly PriceSmart Membership Shopping), and CUL Warehouse Shopping.
He is the sole proprietor of brokerage DBA Centurytex Trading, which services the importation of international garment labels such as Guess, Vans, Mango, Terranova, and US-based ice cream parlor chain Cold Stone Creamery.
Go is among those who are being investigated for a cross-border electronic fraud and money-laundering scheme.
It was on February 4 when the laundered money was consolidated and deposited in a dollar account of Go for DBA Centurytex Trading. The account had been opened on the same day.
On February 23, Go said that Deguito revealed to him that she opened fictitious dollar and peso bank accounts for Centurytex at RCBC Jupiter without his knowledge.
Esguerra told reporters that day that Go would sue Deguito for dragging him into the money-laundering scandal. (READ: How Bangladesh Bank dirty money easily got into PH)
It was only on Friday, March 19, when Go filed a criminal complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati against Deguito and resigned RCBC senior customer relations officer Angela Ruth Torres for falsifying documents as part of the Bangladesh Bank heist.
Rappler tried to reach Deguito’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio for comment, but he was not available as of posting.
For Guingona, “we will have to look at all angles here. [For the next hearing,] tapusin na natin ‘yang yugtong na ‘yan ni (let us just finish that chapter of) William So Go once and for all.”
The Senate blue ribbon committee will conduct its 3rd hearing on the multi-million-dollar money-laundering case on March 29, after Kim Wong, who was linked to past scandals, returns from medical treatment in Singapore. – Rappler.com