MONEY LAUNDERING: Where did $81 million go? | Inquirer News
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MONEY LAUNDERING: Where did $81 million go?

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:01 AM March 14, 2016
sergio-osmena

Sen. Serge Osmeña III. NOY MORCOSO III / INQUIRER.net FILE

The Senate has started tracing where the $81-million from the accounts of the Bangladesh central bank went after the money slipped through the Philippines financial system, Senator Serge Osmeña said on Monday.

Osmeña, chair of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, said the Senate would also trace the four depositors who opened the US dollar bank accounts at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) branch on Jupiter Street, Makati City, in May 2015 with an initial deposit of $500.

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The accounts, reportedly under the names of Enrico Teodoro Vasquez, Alfred Santos Vergara, Michael Francisco Cruz and Jessie Christopher Lagrosas, were untouched until Feb. 4, 2016, when $81 million were transferred to them.

READ: Timeline: $81-M Money Laundering

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The alleged fraudulent transfers of the money from the BB account will be the subject of the investigation of the Senate blue ribbon committee on Tuesday.

READ: Key personalities invited in Senate probe on money laundering

“Number one, we’ll establish the facts. The money came from the account ng Bangladeshi government dun po sa New York with three banks — Citibank, Wells Fargo at sa Bank of New York. I-trace natin kung paano nakalusot ito,” Osmeña said in an interview over dzMM.

“Number 2, iti-trace natin kung sino itong four depositors na nag-open ng dollar account, $500 each noong Mayo 2015 at saka nag-dormant naman yung account. Wala namang activity hanggang bigla na lang nagsidatingan yung $20 million to each of the account so mukhang plinano ito nang husto,” he said.

The dollars were reportedly converted into pesos by a remittance company called Philrem and then transmitted them in various tranches to the bank accounts of Chinese national Weikang Xu, Eastern Hawaii Leisure Co. and Bloomberry Hotels Inc. (Solaire Resorts).

Asked if the funds were already remitted elsewhere, Osmeña said: “Korek, tini-trace namin yan (That’s correct, we’re tracing it.)”

“We have no idea where the money went as of this time,” the senator added.

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TAGS: Bangladesh, Money Laundering, News, RCBC, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Senate, Serge Osmena
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