Almost half of the $81 million that hackers stole from Bangladesh and funnelled into Philippine casinos can still be recovered, a senior Filipino lawmaker investigating the audacious cyber heist said Thursday.
As much as $34 million remained in two casinos and a foreign exchange brokerage, senator Ralph Recto said, citing testimonies from a marathon hearing on Tuesday.
"Our law enforcement agencies must act swiftly to recover any portion of the loot that is still within Philippine soil," Recto said in a statement.
"It is very important to recover as much of the money and return it to Bangladesh.This money was stolen from a poor country," he added.
On February 5, unidentified hackers shifted $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank's account with the US Federal Reserve to a nondescript bank in Manila and then to the casinos, where the trail went cold.
The brazen heist highlighted how the Philippine’s banking loopholes and anti-money laundering laws have made the impoverished and corruption-weary Southeast Asian nation a dirty money destination.
Philippine law exempts casino transactions from scrutiny by the country's anti-money laundering council without a case filed in court.
A casino junket operator, Kim Wong, testified in the Senate on Tuesday that two high-rollers from Beijing and Macau shifted the $81 million to dollar accounts in Manila's Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC).
Wong said he did not know that the money was stolen from Bangladesh and that he merely helped the two men - who are also his casino clients - open bank accounts.
He offered to return $4.The 3 million dollars he said were still in his account at Solaire, one of the Philippine capital's glittering multibillion-dollar casinos.
But by Recto's own calculations, far more can be recovered including $17 million that Wong claimed was still with exchange brokerage Philrem, $10 million from a destitute casino in the north, $5.The 5 million that Wong picked up from the Philrem owner's house and another $2.3 million in the Macau man's Solaire casino account, who allegedly brought $81 million to the Philippines.
Solaire has pledged to return the money.
The senate is scheduled to resume its investigation next week.
Từ vựng liên quan
Tin tức liên quan
A pre-dawn police raid on a karaoke parlor in Long An Province found 70 customers using banned drugs.
Authorities in the central city of Da Nang decided to close public beaches and only allow eateries to serve takeaways from Sunday afternoon amid complicated pandemic developments.
Defender Doan Van Hau, currently contracted to SC Heerenveen, will not be available for Vietnamese service at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship.
Banh mi, the world-famous Vietnamese sandwich, is now available in the size of a palm in Saigon, allowing one to try a variety of different styles.
Hong Kong listeners wake up in a morning to the Mandarin-language broadcast of the China National Radio, instead of the World Service launched since 1978.
Dao Tu Do (Freedom Island) in Lan Ha Bay, unique for having a shoal with a beach on either side, is a hidden gem.
25 international flights are set to bring 2,585 passengers to Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport on Friday, up 600 compared to Thursday.
Chủ đề liên quan
Tin được xem nhiều nhất
Vietnam is among nations hardest hit by cryptomining attacks this year, says Moscow-based multinational cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.
Many Vietnamese YouTube channels have produced comedy videos portraying ethnic minority life through distorted facts and smutty jokes, causing community backlash.
Coteccons will replace two board members with nominees of two major shareholders with whom the management has had a running battle since 2017.
When fall begins towards the end of September and start of October, Nam Hong Village in Ha Giang Province radiates the amber hue of autumn.