Enrile asks how Bangladesh can recover stolen millions

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2016 01:26 PM | Updated as of May 19 2016 02:52 PM

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Senator Juan Ponce Enrile grilled monetary authorities Thursday on the turnover of millions of dollars that hackers stole from the central bank of Bangladesh.

Some $15 million of the $81 million has been returned by casino agent Kim Wong to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

The money was shifted from Bangladesh Bank's account with the US Federal Reserve in New York to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) in the Philippines before it ended up in casinos. Wong has denied involvement in the heist.

"Once we recover the amount who has the power to transfer [the money] to an external entity? Is AMLC authorized to just issue a check and send it to the government of Bangladesh or the central bank for that matter?" Enrile said during a Senate hearing on the caper.

The AMLC is authorized by Philippine law to act on the claim of any foreign government to freeze or recover stolen money, its secretariat executive director, Julia Bacay-Abad, told Enrile.

Abad said the AMLC could recover the money even if Bangladesh and the Philippines does not have a bilateral agreement. -- ANC, May 19, 2016