At the resumption of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged US $81 million money laundering, businessman Kim Wong presented a sealed envelope containing the names of the two foreigners he claimed were connected in the heist.
Kim Wong on Tuesday flatly denied involvement in bringing in the stolen funds from the Bank of Bangladesh into the Philippine banking system, saying two foreigners did it through the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) Jupiter branch in Makati City.
Asked by the senators to open the envelope and reveal the identities of the two, Wong identified them as Ding Xi Xie and Xua Hua Gao who told him they would bring in “huge” money to the Philippines.
”First of all, I have nothing to do with the falsification of documents to bring in the money in the country. I don’t know where the US $81 million came from,” Wong said in a prepared statement.
”Second, two foreigners brought the US $81 million in the country. One of them has been in and out of the Philippines and is a known junket agent and high roller,” he added.
Wong, a junket operator in the Midas and Solaire casinos, said he met Ding from Macao only last February 4 in Solaire while he knew Gao, who is from Beijing, for eight years already.
Wong, owner of the Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, claimed that Gao borrowed from him P450 million which the latter lost in the casinos.
Wong said it was Gao who opened four bank accounts using fictitious names with the RCBC Jupiter Branch under branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito who allegedly forged the bank accounts to receive and withdrew the stolen US $81 million funds.
Deguito did not attend the third Senate hearing on the controversy due to health problems.
Wong said $63 million of the total $81 million went to the Solaire and Midas casinos while the remaining $17 million is still with the Philrem Service Corporation, a remittance company used to convert the stolen funds into peso.
Michael Bautista of PhilRem said not a single cent of the $81 million has been left with their company.
Wong said he picked up a total of P300 million and US $5 million on three separates dates (Feb. 9, 10 and 14) from Michael “Con-con” Bautista’s house.
Chinese hackers reportedly stole the $81 million from the account of the Bank of Bangladesh in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last Feb. 5 and transferred to the four accounts of Michael F. Cruz, Jessie C. Lagrosas, Alfred S. Vergara and Enrico T. Vasquez in the RCBC Jupiter branch in Makati City. (PNA report by Jelly F.Musico)