Palace on money-laundering case: The system is working
Malacañang on Saturday defended the integrity of the Philippine financial system following the biggest money-laundering case in the country that has prompted the central bank chief to call for the easing of the stringent bank secrecy law.
“On the whole, you can see that the system is working,” said Communications Undersecretary Manolo Quezon.
Quezon recounted the timeline of the incident to show how the government reacted as soon as the theft of the $81 million by hackers from the account of Bangladesh Bank in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was discovered.
He pointed out that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr., who also chairs the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), immediately conducted an investigation as soon as he was alerted by Bangladesh Bank.
The brazenness of the heist, which moved the money to fictitious accounts at the Jupiter branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) to the bank accounts of three local casinos, has placed the Philippine banking system under the spotlight.
Quezon said that the AMLC actions, from filing for a freeze order with the Court of Appeals against the RCBC accounts that received the money, to the filing of a money-laundering complaint against the holders of the account and the RCBC Jupiter branch manager, “show that we are a responsible member of the banking community.”