MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Senate will held its 6th hearing on the Bangladesh Bank fund heist Tuesday, April 19, at 10:30 am.
During the 5th Senate hearing last April 12, executives of money transfer firm PhilRem insisted that they did not know about the money laundering scheme. But the Philippine central bank said the PhilRem officials may have violated anti-money laundering laws.
Unidentified hackers had broken into Bangladesh Bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last February 4. Of the stolen funds, $81 million found their way to 5 fake Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) accounts.
PhilRem president Salud Bautista said RCBC assured them the transactions were valid, but Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr said the money transfer firm should have made sure RCBC knew the customers.
PhilRem earned P10.47 million from the transaction, a huge amount compared to its net income of over P300,000 in 2014.
Meanwhile, RCBC chief legal counsel Maria Celia Estavillo said they did not receive high priority notes from the Bangladesh Bank to freeze the transactions. Estavillo explained that the 111 messages from the bank on February 9 were labeled normal priority.
Watch the recording of the hearing here. – Rappler.com