The Anti-Money Laundering Council or AMLC is working to recover $81 million that was stolen last February. The Philippine based group is prepping civil forfeiture cases in order to gain back the funds that were stolen during a hacking incident involving Bangladeshi bank accounts.
Reporters in Manila have revealed comments from Executive Director of the AMLC, Julia Bacay-Abad, who stated that the group’s financial intelligence sector is preparing for the next move in the recovery process by filing civil forfeiture cases. These cases will be made against PhilRem Service Corp, a remittance firm. Also include will be assets that are owned by junket players, who are those that ended up with the actual money. According to Bacay-Abad, the investigation could result in properties being forfeited.
The incident involving the funds took place back February when Chinese hackers took $101 million from Bangladeshi bank accounts located in New York State. Of that amount, $81 million was transferred to a Manila branch known as the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. The cash was then withdrawn via PhilRem Services Inc. and funneled within the casino industry by junket operators. When Senate hearings took place, it was discovered that Philrem had transferred money to Solaire, around $29 million that had been converted from cash to chips and used during gaming.
So far, only around $15 million of the stolen funds have been returned. This amount was provided by Kam Sin Wong, a junket operator, who turned over the cash to the AMLC. Reportedly, just last week a high-level team went to Manila from Dhaka in an effort to recover $66 million.
The AMLC has plans to file a separate forfeiture case against Wong to try and recover the remainder of the funds linked to the heist that Eastern Hawaii Leisure Co. Ltd. has, totalling around $21 million. This company is owned by Wong.
Charges of money-laundering have already been filed against others including officials of the RCBC, executives of PhilRem, Wong, Weikang Xu (junket operator), Maia Santos-Deguito (former branch manager) and four account holders of the RCBC.