Wong, Deguito given until Tuesday to answer AMLC criminal raps
The Department of Justice (DOJ) gave casino junket operator Kim Wong and former Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Jupiter Street, Makati branch manager Maia Santos-Deguito until 5 p.m. Tuesday to answer the criminal complaint filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) over the much-talked-about $81 million stolen Bangladesh Bank (BB) funds.
Both respondents asked for at least a week to file their counter-affidavits on the basis that a third complaint involving the subject funds was filed by the AMLC last April 27 against remittance firm Philrem Service Corporation (Philrem) owners and spouses Salud R. Bautista and Michael “Concon” S. Bautista, also the company’s president and treasurer, respectively, and Anthony A. Pelejo, Philrem Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer.
“Sinasabi lang namin kelangan ng fair play dito at simultaneous filing kase halos pareho ng alegasyon at mukang tingin namin mako-consolidate ang kaso ng Philrem sa kaso ni Mr. Wong at Ms. Deguito,” Atty. Kristoffer James Purisima, counsel for Wong said.
(We are just asking for fair play and simultaneous filing because the allegations seemed similar and we think that the cases against Philrem and Mr. Wong and Ms. Deguito could be consolidated.)
On the other hand, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, counsel for Deguito, accused the AMLC of “piecemeal” filing of complaints and challenged the council to file charges against executives of RCBC who he said “cleared” the questioned transactions.
The stolen funds entered the country through RCBC.
Meanwhile, respondents Weikang Xu as well as Michael Francisco Cruz, Jessie Christopher M. Lagrosas, Alfred Santos Vergara and Enrico Teodoro Vasquez, the holders of the accounts where the BB funds were transferred, were also included in the complaint although the AMLC said they were
mere aliases. RAM/rga
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