MANILA, Philippines – Casino junket operator Kam Sin “Kim” Wong on Monday, April 4, delivered another P38.28 million ($830,595.50) to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for safekeeping in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) headquarters in Manila.
“P38,280,000 was returned by lawyers of Kim Wong. According to Victor Fernandez, lawyer of Kim Wong, the money came from Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company Limited,” BSP deputy director Ogie Garcia said in a mobile phone reply.
This is in addition to the $4.63 million Wong’s legal counsel turned over to AMLC last March 31.
His company Eastern Hawaii got hold of P1 billion or $21.575 million of the stolen funds.
Of the P1 billion, Wong said he took P450 million as the payment of casino junket operator Gao Shuhua, one of two who reportedly facilitated the entry of the laundered money into Philippine casinos, to him. Another P550 million went through the gaming tables. He said P510 million of that amount was lost to Midas Hotel and Casino.
The BSP official said the counting of the P38.28 million started 11 am and ended at 1 pm. (READ: Italy cracks down on Philippine remittance agencies)
Among those present during the turnover were BSP officer-in-charge Vicente Aquino, Bangladesh Embassy Manila Deputy Chief of Mission Shahnaz Gazi, Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc, AMLC Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad, Wong’s lawyers Fernandez and Inocencio Ferrer Jr, as well as Bangladesh Bank officials.
The surrendered amount was loaded into an armored vehicle of the BSP and transported to the BSP vault.
Bangladesh officials to attend 4th probe
Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines John Gomes said last week that members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are due to coordinate with Philippine authorities on the money-laundering case.
“Officials of the CID will coordinate with the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas]. They will start their own investigation on how the money entered the country and who are the people involved,” Gomes had said.
He said the CID officials will attend the fourth Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the Bangladesh Bank fund heist on Tuesday, April 5.
“We are hopeful that the entire amount will be recovered. The return of $4.63 million from Wong is a step in the right direction,” Gomes had said. – Rappler.com
$1 = P46.08