The Anti-Money Laundering Council last week filed a complaint against three top officers of Philrem Service Corp. for their involvement in the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh account of the Federal Reserve Bank, which was laundered in Philippines, reports the Inquirer.
The complaints filed in the Department of Justice were aimed at Philrem president Salud Bautista; her husband Michael, and Anthony Pelejo, the company’s board chair and treasurer, who is also the firm’s anti-money laundering compliance officer.
In February, hackers illegally transferred $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which made their way to four fake accounts at the RCBC branch in Manila.
Most of the funds were funneled into a fifth account, with one William Go, who used Philrem’s services to withdraw $80.9 million, convert it to pesos and remit it to local casino operators.
The AMLC said that Philrem was duty bound to apply KYC rules, and to keep identification records when they dealt with the owner of the fake William Go account.
“What is highly irregular is that respondent spouses claimed they were dealing with Deguito, and not the ‘owner’ of the [fake Go account],” the complaint said.
The AMLC also alleged the Bautistas were aware the funds were not legitimate when they deliberately ignored the AMLC requirements to conduct a KYC and keep a record of customer information.
“Had they done so, respondent spouses would have personally interviewed the real William Go and discover that the latter was not aware of the existence of the RCBC [account under his name],” the complaint added.