Charges filed vs 5 in $81M cyber-heist

May 22, 2019

THE Department of Justice has filed money laundering charges against five officers of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) implicated in the $81-million cyber-heist involving the Bank of Bangladesh in 2016.

Charged for violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) before the Makati regional trial court were officers of RCBCs Retail Banking Group (RBG) namely Raul Victor Tan, its former head, National Sales Director Ismael Reyes, Regional Sales Director Brigitte Capiña, Customer Service Head Romualdo Agarrado and Senior Customer Relationship Angela Ruth Torres.

“The resolution found the five officers of the RCBC Retail Banking Group remiss in their duties and thereby facilitated the offense of money laundering,” Justice Undersecretary and concurrent DoJ spokesperson Markk Perete said.

In denying the respondents’ motion for reconsideration, the DOJ said the RCBC officers were instrumental in the lifting of the temporary hold on the four beneficiary accounts of the international inward remittances of funds allegedly wrongfully taken from the Bangladesh Bank, and the withdrawal of such funds.

The DoJ said the officers still allowed the transactions to push through even if “the red flags were all over.”

The DoJ agreed with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that the “willful blindness doctrine” applies to this case.

Also, the DoJ used as basis a string of SC decisions defining the “willful blindness doctrine” as “the deliberate avoidance or knowledge of a crime, especially by failing to make a reasonable inquiry about suspected wrongdoing, despite being aware that it is highly probable.”