If casinos were under AMLA law, money laundering could have not happened?

2016_0316_teofisto-tj-guingona
Senator Teofisto 'TJ' Guingona, at the Philippine Senate hearing of the committee on accountability of public officers and investigation, and committee on banks.

If casinos were under AMLA law, money laundering could have not happened- Guingona.

The US81-million money laundering controversy could not have happened if the casino were covered by the Anti-Money Launder Law (AMLA), Senate blue ribbon chairman Sen. Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III said on Tuesday.

”(And) what is clear, this would probably not had happened if the casinos were under the AMLA law,” Guingona told the media after a four-hour Senate hearing on the money laundering involving the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC).

”The funds can easily be traced until the casinos. Once it is in the casino, it seems it was a dark cave, it just one big cave, a black hole which we cannot trace anymore,” he added.

Based on the Senate inquiry, Guingona said the money entered the RCBC from New York and from RCBC, it entered to four fake accounts then went to one account allegedly owned by William So Go.

”It was proven that the account was not belonged to Go. It has been found it is fake. Nevertheless, the USD 81 million found its way to that account then part of it was converted into peso via PhilRem,” Guingona said.

Guingona said the Philrem Service Corp. admitted it already distributed the funds to three entities that were dealing with the casinos.

Asked who will be held liable in what he described as big conspiracy involving not only one person, Guingona said “that thing is not clear because as you saw, both of them are invoking either bank secrecy laws or invoking the right against self-incrimination.”

Maia Santos Deguito, manager of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation Jupiter branch in Makati City, attended the hearing but invoked his right against self-incrimination.

”She, however, reiterated her intention to testify fully in an executive and confidential session in the best of her ability, while protecting her aforementioned rights at the same time,” Deguito’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said in a letter to Guingona.

Guingona said they found a lead from the bank manager.

”But it was clear to us that it is well-planned, more than a year ago and it could not have been done by one person. It need the cooperation of the banks, the remittance company,” Guingona said.

Guingona set another hearing on Thursday. (with PNA reporting by Jelly Musico)

Watch again the Senate of the Philippine’s Blue Ribbon committee hearing on the money laundering controversy below:

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