Senate refuses requests for executive session on alleged $81-M laundering | Inquirer News
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Senate refuses requests for executive session on alleged $81-M laundering

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:52 PM March 15, 2016

The Senate blue ribbon committee on Tuesday rejected requests for an executive session of its hearing on the alleged laundering of $81 million stolen from the Bank of Bangladesh, saying the true owner of the funds has not invoked confidentiality.

Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the committee, said there were two requests for an execution session, citing the Bank Secrecy Law. He did not say, however, who made the requests.

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READ: LIVESTREAM: Senate hearing on $81-M money laundering scheme

“I can’t agree to that. First of all because the subject funds actually belonged to the Bangladesh government and the Bangladesh government has not invoked confidentiality,” Guingona said at the start of the hearing.

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“In fact, they are here present to observe. They have written the Bangko Sentral Governor asking for assistance for the tracing and the recovery of funds.”

“So the true owner is the one that can invoke the secrecy of bank deposits but in this case, the true owner is asking our assistance so the invocation of the bank secrecy law can’t be properly done at this point,” the senator said.

READ: MONEY LAUNDERING: Where did $81 million go?

Besides, Guingona said the court has already issued a freeze order on the bank accounts involved.

“The freeze order contained documents, including the pleadings, including the petition filed by the AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council) and all those documents are now public records and therefore, open for the public. Again bank secrecy can’t be invoked,” the senator pointed out. RAM

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TAGS: Bank of Bangladesh, confidentiality, Senate blue ribbon committee, Senator Teofisto Guingona III
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