In a testimony of casino junket operator Kim Wong, he cited two high rollers from Beijing and Macau who shifted the $81 million to dollar accounts in Manila’s Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC). Wong helped in setting up the bank accounts of his casino clients and claimed innocence about the stolen funds.
Wong offered to return the remaining $4.3 million of the money in his account in Solaire. Solaire has pledged to return the money.
However, a lawmaker in the Philippines said that more can be recovered from the casinos where the money trail ended. Millions can be recovered from the controversial Bangladesh bank heist, which hackers stole and laundered to casinos in the Philippines, according to Senator Ralph Recto.
However, the initial amount cannot be retrieved. Around $34 million from the $81 million laundered money can be recovered from the two casinos and a foreign exchange brokerage.
“Our law enforcement agencies must act swiftly to recover any portion of the loot that is still within Philippine soil. It is very important to recover as much of the money and return it to Bangladesh. The money was stolen from a poor country,” Recto said in the most recent hearing, according to Manila Bulletin.
On Feb. 5, unidentified hackers stole $81 million from Bangladesh central bank’s account with the US Federal Reserve to an inconspicuous bank in Manila, then transferred again to the casinos.
The big scale money laundering became a big issue in the Philippines since the funds are wired in the country blaming Philippines’ faulty banking system and security making it easier for hackers to transfer the millions in the nation’s banks.
Unfortunately, Philippine law exempts casino transactions from scrutiny by the country’s anti-money laundering council without a case filed in court.
The investigation on the bank heist is still ongoing in the senate.