More than US$30 million of the money stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh central bank at the New York Fed was delivered in cash to a Chinese junket operator in Manila, reports Reuters.
Senator Teofisto Guingona, head of the Senate’s anti-corruption committee, told Reuters ahead of the hearing that cash deliveries were made to a junket operator identified as a certain Weikang Xu over several transactions.
These were made up of 600 million pesos (US$12.8 million), and US$18 million in cash, meaning the junket operator would have received at least 780,000 banknotes.
In February, hackers attempted to steal $1 billion from the Bangladesh Bank, around $100 million was stolen from Bangladesh account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with some of the amount traced back to the Philippines.
Earlier this month, Pagcor was said to be investigating claims that the funds passed through three casinos including Solaire Resort and Casino, City of Dreams Manila, as well as Midas Hotel and Casino.
The claims have shed light on the need for casinos to be covered by the country’s anti-money laundering law, which is now being pushed by Teresita Herbosa, head of the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission, according to local media.
“It’s a global effort to eradicate money laundering. We have to catch up with people doing such activity and while we are doing that we need to strengthen the laws of each country to conform to best practices,” Herbosa was quoted by The Standard in Philippines. “I’m sure they’ll [casinos] be considered for the next round of amendments,” she added.