Bangladesh Bank (BB) will send two mid-level officials to Philippines within the next week as part of the government’s probe into the $81-million funds stolen from the Bangladesh central bank’s account.BB Executive Director Shubhankar Saha yesterday told The Independent that two General Manager (GM)’s level BB official will go to Philippines within the week. “The BB officials there will act on the central bank’s behalf to see through the process of getting the money back,” he said.
He however didn’t say when in next week, the BB officials will set sail for Philippines. Meanwhile Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines Major Geneneral John Gomes told Rappler, A Philippine based news agency that the BB officials are scheduled to arrive on Sunday, April 3.
He also said that members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Bangladesh Police are due to coordinate with Philippine authorities on the money-laundering case.
“Officials of the CID will coordinate with the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas). They will start their own investigation on how the money entered the country and who are the people involved,” Gomes said.
The Bangladesh envoy made the statement after he witnessed the turnover of $4.63 million by casino junket agent Kam Sin “Kim” Wong to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) office at the BSP headquarters in Manila on Thursday, March 31.
He said the CID members will head to the AMLC office on Monday and attend the fourth hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee on Tuesday, April 5.
Gomes said the team will discuss with the AMLC the return of the money surrendered by Wong to the council for safe keeping at the BSP vault. “We are hopeful that the entire amount will be recovered. The return of $4.63 million from Wong is a step in the right
Gomes told Rappler that the Bangladesh government is hopeful that Wong would also return another P450 million that was part of the P1-billion stash of two Chinese casino players.
Gomes said the Bangladesh government would also pursue the $17 million left with Philrem Services Corporation owned by the Bautista family as alleged by Wong.
He welcomed the statement made by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on pursuing the recovery of about 40% or $34 million of the $81-million loot.
“We hope to recover the rest of the amount,” Gomes said.
Gomes thanked the Senate, the AMLC, and the BSP for their help in recovering the money stolen by Chinese hackers from the account of the Bangladesh Bank at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February. The money entered the country via the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and ended up in 3 casinos in the country.
Meanwhile AMLC executive director Julia Bacay-Abad told Rappler that the AMLC is seeking the help of the Chinese embassy in locating Gao Shu Hua and Ding Zhi Ze who were identified by Wong as the perpetuators of the bank heist.
“We are coordinating with them,” she said.