DOJ resets anti-money laundering probe vs Kim Wong
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday reset the preliminary investigation on the anti-money laundering case against casino junket operator Kam Sin Wong or Kim Wong to May 3.
This was after Wong sought more time to submit his counter-affidavit in response to the complaint over the controversial $81-million laundered money from the Bank of Bangladesh which slipped through the Philippine financial system through the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC).
Based on the nine-page complaint filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), also facing a case for violation of Section 4 (a) and (b) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9160, otherwise known as the the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 is Chinese national Weikang Xu.
Section 4 (a) holds accountable for money laundering any person who transacts or attempts to transact a monetary instrument or property which represents, involves, or relates to, the proceeds of any unlawful activity; while section 4 (b) covers any person who performs or fails to perform any act despite knowledge that any monetary instrument or property involves the proceeds of any unlawful activity and, therefore, facilitates the offense of money laundering.
The complaint cited the testimonies during the Senate inquiry where Wong, the president and general manager of the Eastern Hawaii Leisure Co. Ltd., was mentioned to have received $21.6 million (P1 billion) from the $81 million in laundered money as well as to have made several withdrawals from his personal and corporate accounts on February 10 and 11.
Maia Santos-Deguito claimed that he introduced her to “Michael Francisco Cruz, Jessie Christopher Lagrosas, Alfred Santos Vergara and Enrico Teodoro Vasquez” who opened suspicious dollar accounts in May 2015 where the laundered money taken from the accounts of the Bangladesh Bank with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was remitted.
The AMLC complaint said Wong got P1 billion through his firm Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company and personal bank account with the Philippine National Bank (PNB).
The complaint said that after Philrem Service Corporation transferred the amount to his company, Wong made a withdrawal amounting to P900 million from his firm’s account and transferred it to his personal PNB account where he later on withdrew P400 million.
“Foregoing considered, probable cause exists that respondents Kam Sin Wong aka Kim Wong and Weikang Xu violated Section 4 (a) and (b) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, as amended, for having transacted and/or transferred, moved, acquired, possessed, or used proceeds of an unlawful activity,” the AMLC complaint stressed.
“Wong knew or should have known that the funds that were remitted/transacted were part of the stolen funds from Bangladesh bank, and are therefore proceeds of an unlawful activity,” the complaint added.
The complaint said that from the four fictitious bank accounts with RCBC on Jupiter Street, Makati City where the $81 million in stolen money was remitted, $30.5 million was transferred to the account of Philrem whereupon $18 million and P600 million were delivered to Xu.
Last March 31, Wong turned over $4.6 million to the AMLC and another P38.280 million last April 4. Wong earlier said he still intends to return some P450-million but sought more time to come up with the money. RAM
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