• Melo Acuna

Wirecard controversy continues

Two bank officials in hot water over Wirecard; 57 considered persons of interest

MANILA – The Anti-Money Laundering Council’s Executive Director Atty. Mel Georgie Racela said the alleged money involved in the Wirecard fraud did not enter the Philippine financial system.

Speaking at the Virtual Press Conference presented by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and hosted by Asst. Secretary Jayvee Arcena, Atty. Racela confirmed two bank officials who forged the documents are under investigation.

“We shared our report with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and we are now building up our case against tother individuals, domestic violators of the Anti-Money laundering Act,” Racela said. He, however, did not identify the two bank officials.

He went on to say they have shared the same documents with German authorities who requested for copies of their report. He added it will now be up to the German authorities to investigate their nationals or citizens or their own companies.

Atty. Racela denied the perception shared by several parties that it is easy to launder money in the Philippines.

“We have enough controls now in place as compared to four years ago when the bank heist happened. We have our transaction monitoring system in place which will generate alerts,” he said. He added within the AMLC, they manage the alerts sand whenever necessary, they share the information with law enforcement agencies and even other Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs).

“We can follow the money, the flow of funds and able to identify culprits and criminals,” the AMLC official added. The official explained they have ten requests per week from the PNO Cybercrime Group which show the effective partnership between Philippine government agencies.

Asked further on the Wirecard issue, Atty. Racela said they did not receive any suspicious transaction report which means there was no attempt on the part of the foreigners to launder money in the Philippines.

He declined to reveal details of the connection between other parties to the Wirecard fraud with other business entities because of an on-going investigation. However, Atty. Racela said there are at last 57 persons of interest, some of whom are based abroad. (Melo M. Acuña)

Atty. Mel Georgie Racela, Executive Director, Anti-Money laundering Council Secretariat. (File Photo/PCOO)

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