AMLC, Kim Wong’s lawyers in impasse over funds’ disposition
An impasse is currently happening at the office of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLC) inside the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas complex in Manila.
Sources revealed AMLC officials are insisting that the P38.28 million being turned over to the agency by Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company Ltd. and its owner Kim Wong should instead be given directly to the Bangladesh ambassador to the Philippines.
The junket operator’s lawyers Victor Fernandez and Inocencio Ferrer Jr. are now locked in legal argument with AMLC officials led by Atty. Julia Bacay-Abad.
Wong’s counsels are maintaining that, in accordance with the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s mandate, the funds “abandoned” by casino player Gao Shuhua in Eastern Hawaii should be turned over to the AMLC/BSP for “safekeeping.”
“We have no mandate to turn it over to the Bangladesh government. Our client, Mr. Kim Wong, has no business speaking directly with the Bangladeshis. Our clear understanding is that after turning over the funds to AMLC ‘for safekeeping’, its disposition should be subject to a government-to-government agreement,” Fernandez stressed.
At 11 a.m. Monday, Fernandez and Ferrer went to the AMLC office to deliver the second tranche of the “abandoned” funds – this time consisting of P38.2-million mostly in P500 bills. The funds are currently being counted at the AMLC office using two counting machines. JE
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