Bangladesh envoy told: Be patient | Global News

Bangladesh envoy told: Be patient

Government officials on Thursday asked Bangladesh for patience and understanding even as they promised the expedition of the return of the money that has been recovered from the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh central bank, which ended up in fictitious accounts opened at a Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. branch in Makati.

This after Bangladesh Ambassador John Gomes appealed for the return of the $15 million recovered from casino operator Kim Wong at on Thursday’s hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee which wrapped up its investigation into how the $81 million stolen by hackers ended up in the country.

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Gomes said “it would be like a slap on my face” if the recovered money from Wong will not be returned to Bangladesh as had been earlier committed by officials.

After seven hearings, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said it has accounted for $60 million of the stolen $81 million, with the balance of $21 million still missing.

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AMLC Executive Director Julia Bacay-Abad on Thursday told the committee it may take three to five months to release the money which was now subject to a civil forfeiture case in a court. That is, if there was no opposition to the civil forfeiture case it filed, Abad said.

But she told committee chair Sen. Teofisto Guingona III that Wong had made an opposition to the civil forfeiture case.

Wong’s lawyer said it was to clarify that his client did not own the money but Chinese gambler Shuhua Gao.

Wong had earlier testified that it was Gao who brought in the $81 million which was deposited at the RCBC. But Gao had already left the country.

15-day extension

Meanwhile, the AMLC on Thursday asked the Department of Justice for 15 more days to respond to the counter-affidavits of the respondents.

AMLC’s reply-affidavit was due for submission on Thursday to investigation prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamara but the council’s deputy director, Vencent Salido, together with lawyer Rafael Echaluse, filed a two-page motion for extension.

In separate complaint affidavits, AMLC earlier accused former RCBC  Jupiter branch manager Maia Santos Deguito, casino operators Kim Wong and Weikang Xu, for violating Section 4(a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

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TAGS: $81 million cyberheist, Bangladesh, Features, money laundering, nation, RCBC
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