Former RCBC branch manager investigated by DOJ

Former RCBC branch manager investigated by DOJ

The former branch manager of RCBC Jupiter Branch Maia Santos-Dequito went to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to undergo preliminary investigation. Deguito was joined by her lawyer Atty. Ferdinand Topacio. The said investigation was conducted by Assistant State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra.

Former RCBC branch manager investigated by DOJ

Maia S. Deguito, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) branch manager, testifies before the Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe. Photo credit: AP/Bullit Marquez

Topacio said that they did not submit a counter affidavit because they just received the copy of the complaint yesterday. Topacio added that they will submit their counter affidavit on May 3.

Topacio explained that the only reason they paid DOJ a visit was to submit his client to the jurisdiction of the fiscal.

Several minutes after their stay at the DOJ, Dequito was given by the fiscal up to May 3 to submit her counter affidavit.

The Anti Money Laundering Council (Amlac) earlier filed a complaint against Deguito for violating Section 4F of the Anti Money Laundering Law or the facilitation of laundered money in relation to the Bangladesh money stolen by hackers amounting to $81 million. According to Amlac, other than the failure of Deguito to verify the identity of the owner of the bank accounts, she also allowed its withdrawal despite the formal request from Bangladesh bank to stop payment.

Among those included in the subpoena are Michael Francisco Cruz, Jessie Christopher Lagrosas, Alfred Santos Vergara and Enrico Teodoro Vasquez.

The 2016 Bangladesh Bank Heist started in February 2016, when five transactions issued by hackers or insiders worth $101 million from a Bangladesh Bank account succeeded, with $81 million traced to the Philippines. In February 8, Bangladesh Bank informed RCBC to stop the payment, refund the funds, and to freeze and put the funds on hold if the funds had already been transferred.

Amlac filed a money laundering complaint before the Department of Justice against Deguito and 5 others related to the case.

A Philippine Senate hearing was held on March 15, 2016, led by Senator Teofisto Guingona III, head of the Blue Ribbon Committee and Congressional Oversight Committee on the Anti-Money Laundering Act. A closed-door hearing was later held on March 17.

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