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AMLC adopts stricter controls against money laundering

Dec 06, 2017 - 8:46 PM

The new controls include the requirement to upload reports of suspicious transactions within 5 days of occurrence as well as separate know-your-customer documents

BIR investigates Comelec chief, wife Patricia Bautista

Aug 16, 2017 - 12:53 PM

Revenue officials join the National Bureau of Investigation and the Presidential Commission on Good Government in the extensive probe into the claims of unexplained wealth against Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista

BSP outlines new rules, penalties for money launderers

Aug 15, 2017 - 8:50 PM

These new rules and penalties will cover all BSP supervised personnel and are designed to ensure that the Philippines shall not be used as a money laundering site

Martial law, AMLA amendment, Mahathir | Evening wRap

Jul 19, 2017 - 8:16 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Casinos now covered by anti-money laundering law

Jul 19, 2017 - 2:34 PM

UPDATED Casinos are now required to report casino cash transactions exceeding P5 million according to AMLA amendments signed by President Rodrigo Duterte

Senate, House OK on final reading bills including casinos in AMLA

May 30, 2017 - 12:20 PM

UPDATED The two chambers of Congress are set to convene a bicameral conference committee to finalize the measure before President Rodrigo Duterte signs it into law

CASINOS UNDER AMLA. Tourist and casino players arrive at the grand opening of the City of Dreams mega-casino in Manila on February 2, 2015. File photo by Jay Directo/AFP

U.S. labels Philippines as major money laundering site again

Mar 06, 2017 - 12:45 PM

For the US State Department money laundering remains a serious concern in the Philippines due to its international narcotics trade corruption and weak laws

DIRTY MONEY SITE. The US State Department says sophisticated transnational organized crime and drug trafficking organizations use the Philippines as a drug transit country. Rappler file photo

Philippines asks for Bangladesh help on bank heist investigation

Dec 04, 2016 - 9:20 PM

This is to strengthen the Philippine government s position in court proceedings that aim to retrieve the rest of the stolen funds

COLLABORATE. Philippine government officials ask the Bangladesh Bank for a copy of its full report on its investigation to strengthen its position in court proceedings. Rappler file photo

Fresh AMLA amendments include casinos, real estate, junket ops

Dec 01, 2016 - 2:49 PM

Should the Congress pass the AMLA amendments AMLC will also have the power to issue an ex parte freeze order which will be effective immediately and will not exceed 30 days

MORE TEETH. With limited power, it took the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) 18 days to order Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) to freeze all accounts involved in the $81-million Bangladesh Bank fund heist. Rappler file photo

RCBC reorganizes board after Bangladesh Bank heist scandal

Jul 26, 2016 - 9:05 PM

In the wake of the scandal RCBC strengthens its board of directors increasing the number of independent directors to 7 from the previous 4

AFTERMATH. In the wake of the Bangladesh Bank heist scandal, RCBC strengthens its board of directors. Rappler file photo

Bill seeks inclusion of casinos, art and car dealers in AMLA

Jul 07, 2016 - 12:07 PM

Senate Bill 45 wants to give more teeth to the Anti Money Laundering Council by authorizing it to issue freeze orders on questionable transactions and bank accounts

TOUGHER LAW VS MONEY LAUNDERING. Senate Bill 45, authored by Senator Panfilo Lacson, seeks the inclusion of casinos under the Anti-Money Laundering Act. File photo by Romeo Gacad/AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD

BSP cancels registration of PhilRem, Werquick, Peso Remittance

Jun 01, 2016 - 5:45 PM

The cancellation stems from PhilRem s role in the elaborately planned 81 million Bangladesh Bank heist

'CLEANING HOUSE'. PhilRem owners Salud Bautista (C) and Michael Bautista (R) did not attend the last Senate hearing on the Bangladesh Bank money laundering scam. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

RCBC names new officials after bank heist probe

May 31, 2016 - 5:12 PM

As the Senate probe into the bank heist ends the embattled bank appoints new key officials

MOVING ON. The appointment comes after The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee have completed investigations on the money laundering scandal

Hard lessons learned as Senate ends bank heist probe

May 20, 2016 - 11:27 AM

Senators assure an upset Bangladesh Ambassador John Gomes that the money stolen from his government would be returned up to the last centavo as the Senate ends its probe on the grand money laundering scheme

LAST HEARING. Senate blue ribbon committee ends its two-month probe into the Bangladesh Bank fund heist on May 19. Photos by Chrisee Dela Paz/Rappler

Only Kim Wong keeps promise to sign waiver on phone records

May 19, 2016 - 7:05 PM

The Senate is unable to gain access to the phone records of sacked RCBC branch manager Maia Santos Deguito and PhilRem owner Salud Bautista

STONEWALLED. Senate was supposed to look into the phone records of Wong (C), Deguito (L), and Bautista (R) to clarify their contradictory testimonies on who had given orders on delivery of the stolen funds

PhilRem owners no-show in last Senate hearing on bank heist

May 19, 2016 - 5:35 PM

PhilRem has the lowest credibility among them all They are consistently inconsistent says Senator Guingona as the blue ribbon committee wraps up its probe

NO SHOW. PhilRem owners Salud Bautista (C) and Michael Bautista (R) did not show up at the last Senate hearing on Bangladesh Bank money laundering scam. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Senate probe into Bangladesh Bank fund heist resumes May 17

May 05, 2016 - 8:15 PM

Meanwhile the Bangladesh Bank chief and the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will meet with SWIFT executives next week

CROSS-EXAMINE. Phone records of Kim Wong (L), Maia Santos Deguito (C), and PhilRem's Salud Bautista (R). Photo of Deguito by Mark Cristino/EPA

AMLC files money laundering complaint vs PhilRem execs

Apr 28, 2016 - 3:46 PM

The Anti Money Laundering Council says PhilRem officials were aware the funds coursed through the company were illegitimate as they deliberately ignored requirements to know the customer and record customer information

PHILREM. Salud Bautista of PhilRem responds to questions at the continuation of the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged US $100 million that was laundered in Philippines. Photo by Alex Nueva Espana/Senate PRIB

AMLC begins bid to seize assets linked to $81M bank heist

Apr 19, 2016 - 7:55 PM

The Anti Money Laundering Council s first civil forfeiture case is against casino junket agent Kim Wong with more cases to come

MORE TO COME. 'We will do it by batch,' AMLC's Bacay-Abad says when asked when will it also file cases on casinos' assets. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Notary public denies signing affidavit of PhilRem messenger

Apr 19, 2016 - 3:49 PM

In his 7 years working as a PhilRem messenger Mark Raymond Palmares says the transaction related to the 81 million stolen funds from the Bangladesh Bank account is the largest so far

SENATE PROBE. (Left to right) Mark Raymond Palmares, PhilRem messenger, and his bosses, Salud and Michael Bautista, attend the Senate hearing on the Bangladesh bank heist on April 19, 2016. Photo by Chrisee dela Paz/Rappler

Senate blue ribbon chair to PhilRem chief: 'You're hiding something'

Apr 12, 2016 - 3:57 PM

At the resumption of the Senate hearing on the Bangladesh bank heist Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares says PhilRem clearly violated tax regulations

IN THE MIDDLE. Founded in 1998, PhilRem is primarily established to engage in the business of remittance of money currency from abroad to be delivered to different parts of the Philippines. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Bank heist probe: Questions, contradictions hound PhilRem

Apr 12, 2016 - 10:15 AM

Money transfer services of PhilRem were used in the 81 million money laundering scam keeping the stolen funds out of sight and out of reach

CONNECTIONS. Salud Bautista of PhilRem (L) during the continuation of the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing. She is seated next to casino junket agent and an 'acquaintance' Kam Sin Wong (R). Photo by Alex Nueva Espana/Senate PRIB

RCBC's Tan sues Deguito, seeks P32M in damages

Apr 11, 2016 - 10:00 PM

RCBC president on leave Lorenzo Tan files charges against sacked branch manager Maia Santos Deguito over the Bangladesh Bank controversy

HEAD TO HEAD. Lorenzo Tan (L) files charges against Maia Santos-Deguito (R), accusing the ex-RCBC branch manager of libel and false testimony

BSP: Banks bear 'ultimate responsibility' in avoiding dirty money

Apr 06, 2016 - 8:48 PM

Amid the 81M heist probe the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas orders banks to take extra caution

DIRTY MONEY. The returned dirty money comes from casino junket agent Kim Wong. Photo from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Turnover of Bangladesh's missing millions will 'take a little time'

Apr 06, 2016 - 5:35 PM

5 46 million may have been returned by Kim Wong but the money is still not with the Bangladesh government

MOOD CHANGES. Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines Gomes (left) asks AMLC's Julia Bacay-Abad (right) for immediate turnover of returned funds. Photo by Chrisee Dela Paz/Rappler

Bangladesh envoy dismayed, witnesses stonewalled at 4th Senate probe

Apr 05, 2016 - 11:30 PM

At the end of the fourth Senate probe Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines John Gomes expresses disappointment on the state of the returned 4 63 million and P38 28 million funds by casino junket agent Kim Wong

DISMAYED. Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines John Gomes (center) gestures while sitting next to the Joint Director of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit Mohammad Abdur Rab (left) and Deputy General Manager of the Accounting and Budgeting Department of the Bangladesh Bank Jaker Hossain (right) during the Senate probe. Photo by Mark Cristino/EPA

Osmeña: $17M unaccounted money seems to be with PhilRem

Apr 05, 2016 - 10:36 PM

Senators catch the owners of money transfer firm PhilRem contradicting their earlier testimonies on their transactions linked to the Bangladesh Bank fund heist

MAJOR PLAYER. Senator Sergio Osmeña III scans photos of evidence submitted by Kim Wong. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

AMLC to file case to seize entire $81M laundered money

Apr 05, 2016 - 3:30 PM

Asked if the casinos will contest the civil forfeiture case lawyers of Solaire and Midas say they have yet to explain options to clients

RETURN DIRTY MONEY. AMLC Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad says her office will file a civil forfeiture case so the stolen money may be returned to Bangladesh Bank. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Senators note inconsistency in PhilRem's $81-M bank heist story

Apr 05, 2016 - 1:15 PM

The oath is to tell the truth not just the partial truth Every hearing you give a different story Senator Bam Aquino tells PhilRem owners

INCONSISTENCIES. The Senate blue ribbon committee points out some inconsistencies in PhilRem owners' testimonies. In the photo are owners of PhilRem, Salud Bautista and Michael Bautista. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Not the first controversy for RCBC 'miracle man' Lorenzo V. Tan

Apr 02, 2016 - 5:18 PM

UPDATED When he led the United Coconut Planters Bank the bank faced a civil case for padding the loan obligation of a client

UNBLEMISHED? Lorenzo Tan says his track record of 18 years in the banking industry is 'unblemished.' Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

AMLC to draft bill relaxing bank secrecy

Apr 01, 2016 - 9:39 AM

But an Anti Money Laundering Council member says there may be no longer enough time to pass the bill under the Aquino administration

URGENTLY NEEDED. Dooc says he has heard President Benigno Aquino III is willing to certify the bill as urgent. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Italy cracks down on Philippine remittance agencies

Mar 31, 2016 - 6:13 PM

UPDATED In December 2014 RCBC s remittance company in Italy faced a hefty fine of 74 445 10 for its failure to comply with the country’s stringent anti money laundering enforcement

DISASTROUS. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima says if foreign banks continue to close down more accounts, the cost of remitting money for OFWs can double.

DOF fears closure of remittance shops abroad amid $81M heist

Mar 30, 2016 - 11:32 PM

A recruitment and migration expert says he was told by Task Force OFW in Italy that RCBC and BPI closed their remittance shops in Rome and Milan early 2016

DISASTROUS. DOF's Purisima says if foreign banks continue to close down more accounts, the cost of remitting money for OFWs can double

Ex-RCBC branch head Deguito seeks week-long rest from Senate probe

Mar 28, 2016 - 6:20 PM

Maia Santos Deguito may not be able to attend the third Senate hearing on the Bangladesh Bank fund heist on March 29

RESPITE FROM PROBE. Ex-RCBC branch head Maia Santos-Deguito says she 'has health problems in a situation full of stress and strain, since last February 9.' Photo from EPA/Mark R. Cristino

Senate to 'close chapter' on William Go at 3rd hearing on stolen funds

Mar 26, 2016 - 4:15 PM

At the resumption of the probe into the Bangladesh bank heist the Senate blue ribbon committee plans to unravel more leads that will steer them to the real culprit

PLOT THICKENS. Some of the key resource people in the Senate probe are (left to right) Filipino-Chinese businessman William So Go, former RCBC President and CEO Lorenzo Tan, and PhilRem President Salud Bautista. Photos from LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

RCBC chief goes on leave amid Bangladesh bank heist probe

Mar 23, 2016 - 3:50 PM

UPDATED In a public apology the Yuchengco led bank says it will address any weaknesses in its controls and operations which may have facilitated the scheme

DEEP REGRETS. RCBC offers its sincerest apologies for the involvement of its personnel in the money laundering scheme. In the photo is RCBC President and CEO Lorenzo Tan. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

AMLC sues businessmen linked to Bangladesh Bank fund heist

Mar 22, 2016 - 7:54 PM

Kim Wong has been tagged by Senator Serge Osmeña as a possible major player in the elaborately planned heist while Weikang Xu is a Chinese casino junket operator whose account was allegedly used for the scam

MORE CHARGES. As the probe on Bangladesh Bank heist drags on, more criminal charges were filed against people involved

Limited power restricts AMLC actions in Bangladesh Bank heist

Mar 22, 2016 - 6:33 PM

With no power to directly order freezing of accounts the Anti Money Laundering Council was unable to act swiftly on Bangladesh Bank s request

MORE TEETH. AMLC's Julia Bacay-Abad says the Philippines is not a haven for money laundering. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

4 new names emerge at Senate probe into Bangladesh bank heist

Mar 19, 2016 - 12:00 PM

The plot thickens as 4 new names surface at the Senate probe into the elaborately planned laundering of funds stolen from Bangladesh Bank

NEW CHARACTERS. The investigation over the mysterious electronic theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s official account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York drags on.

PhilRem to return over P10M profit to Bangladesh Bank

Mar 17, 2016 - 10:25 PM

This is not just as a sign of apology but as symbol of a Filipino company willing to find justice Salud Bautista president of the money transfer firm tells senators

VIOLATIONS? The Anti-Money Laundering Council says there may be basis to cite PhilRem Service Corporation with violations of AMLA. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

RCBC to file perjury raps vs bank officer in money-laundering case

Mar 17, 2016 - 7:32 PM

At the second Senate hearing on the Bangladesh bank heist RCBC senior customer relationship officer Angela Torres is described as the right hand of bank manager Maia Santos Deguito

CYBERHEIST PROBE. The Senate blue ribbon committee holds its second hearing on the Bangladesh bank heist on March 17, 2016. Photo from the Senate of the Philippines Facebook page

Senate holds executive session on Bangladesh Bank fund heist

Mar 17, 2016 - 5:18 PM

The Senate blue ribbon committee grants the request of RCBC manager Maia Santos Deguito who has promised to tell all in an executive session

epa05212148 Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Branch Manager Maia Santos Deguito (C) receives advice from her lawyers during the Senate hearing on the alleged 100 US million dollars illegally laundered in the Philippines at the Senate building in Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines, 15 March 2016. The Philippine Senate started its inquiry into the alleged 100 million US dollars worth of illegal funds coursed through the banking system and casinos in the Philippines. According to reports, the suspected illicit funds were supposedly part of millions of dollars hacked from the overseas accounts of the central bank of Bangladesh. 81 million US dollars from the account of the Bangladesh Bank was transferred by the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York to the RCBC in the Philippines while the 20 million US dollars wire transfer to Sri Lanka was foiled. In a series of banking transactions, the suspected illicit funds in RCBC were then withdrawn and remitted to offshore accounts after these were moved through local casinos. The Philippine government, through the Anti-Money Laundering Council, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and the National Bureau of Investigation, is likewise investigating all related accounts. EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

TIMELINE: Tracing the $81-million stolen fund from Bangladesh Bank

Mar 17, 2016 - 9:10 AM

UPDATED Here s the timeline so far of how the 81 million fund from Bangladesh Bank s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was coursed through the Philippines

STILL BLURRY. Investigation over the mysterious electronic theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s official account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York drags on

After Bangladesh bank heist, Poe calls for bank disclosures in PH

Mar 17, 2016 - 7:00 AM

It s not a question of whether we should lift the Bank Secrecy Law It s a matter of when we re going to do it says the presidential candidate

BANK DISCLOSURES. Presidential candidate Grace Poe says it's time that bank disclosures become the trend in the Philippines. Screenshot from Rappler

US elections, Bangladesh bank heist, Salonga tribute | 12PM wRap

Mar 16, 2016 - 4:59 PM

Watch Rappler’s 12PM newscast with Zak Yuson

'Clear link' between Bangladesh bank hackers, RCBC – Recto

Mar 16, 2016 - 4:34 PM

UPDATED Senators will discuss the request of RCBC branch manager Maia Santos Deguito to testify in an executive session at the second hearing on Thursday

SENATE PROBE. The Senate blue ribbon committee conducts a public hearing on the Bangladesh bank heist involving a Philippine bank and casinos, on March 15, 2016. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Philrem president: I received instructions from RCBC manager

Mar 16, 2016 - 12:15 PM

Philrem president Salud Bautista also expresses concern over RCBC s decision to close all her personal and corporate accounts saying it was not covered by Anti Money Laundering Council s freeze order

 'STRANGE TRANSACTIONS.' Philrem president Salud Bautista says instructions to convert and deliver the alleged stolen funds came from the RCBC-Jupiter branch manager. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

$81-M bank heist money trail hits dead end in casinos

Mar 16, 2016 - 7:55 AM

A Senate probe shows RCBC allowed the withdrawal of the money even after it received a stop payment order from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL. Senators Sergio Osmeña III, author of AMLA, expresses frustrations over the country's strict bank secrecy and weak AMLA laws. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

RCBC manager invokes right vs self-incrimination at Senate probe

Mar 15, 2016 - 3:41 PM

RCBC bank manager Maia Santos Deguito says she would only address questions in an executive session which the Senate blue ribbon committee has rejected

INVOKING A RIGHT. Maia Santos-Deguito invokes her right against self-incrimination during a Senate probe March 15, 2016. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

How Bangladesh Bank dirty money easily got into PH

Mar 15, 2016 - 12:41 PM

The biggest money laundering scandal to hit the Philippines draws attention to the urgency of putting more teeth into the Anti Money Laundering Act

LINK TO ROBBED FUNDS. The government is investigating what could be the biggest money laundering case in Philippine history