About US S4.63 million, part of the $81 million stolen from Bangladesh Bank have been recovered and turned over at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas main office in Manila Thursday afternoon.
The money was returned by the lawyer of casino junket operator Kim Wong to officials of Bangladesh, BSP and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
AMLC Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad told reporters that counting of the money was finished at almost 6 p.m., with the use of two counting machines and five cashiers.
”Effectively the money have been turned over to Bangladesh government because when we received the money in our office we signed an acknowledgment receipt and this was co-signed by me and the ambassador himself,” she told reporters.
Abad said the money was delivered to the central bank for safe-keeping while the Bangladesh government is making necessary arrangement for its transfer.
Citing the transmittal letter sent by Wong through his lawyer, the AMLC chief said the money was part of junket operations.
”Apparently the money came from junket operators themselves,” he said.
Abad added that return of the money does not mean the end of criminal charges against the people involved in laundering of the USD 81 million stolen from BB.
At the same event, Bangladesh Ambassador to Manila Major Gen. John Gomes said they were pleased with this development.
”We are also hopeful that the rest of the money should be accounted for,” he said calling Thursday’s event “a step in the right direction.”
The Bangladeshi official said some executives of the BB would arrive in the Philippines on Sunday to coordinate with BSP officials and attend the money laundering hearing of the Philippine Senate on April 5, 2016.
He said they would let the Philippine officials pursue the criminal charges against the perpetrators of the money laundering activity but also disclosed that officials from Bangladesh’s criminal investigation division will be arriving in the Philippines next week to conduct their own investigation.
”When they come they will have their own investigation on how the money ended here because the whole world is looking upon Bangladesh also on how we will recover the money,” he added. (PNA report)
And below, is yet another edition of the Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the money laundering: