Broken CCTV cameras, fake documents raise doubts on RCBC branch

RCBC branch
RCBC branch

All closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) on Jupiter Street in Makati City were “not functioning” on the day the alleged $81-million stolen funds were withdrawn from the bank, Senator Teofisto Guingona III disclosed on Monday.

Guingona, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, said they learned this information from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).

The committee is set to investigate the reported cross-border electronic fraud and money-laundering scheme involving some $81 million funds that were allegedly stolen by computer hackers from the US account of Bank of Bangladesh and slipped through the Philippine financial system.

Guingona also disclosed that the four persons, who received and withdrew the funds from the bank last February 9, 2016, had submitted faked documents, such as driver’s license.

The four, who reportedly owned the bank accounts were Enrico Teodoro Vasquez, Alfred Santos Vergara, Michael Francisco Cruz and Jessie Christopher Lagrosas.

“Fake yung mga documents na sinabmit, for example yung driver’s license, fake yun. Ngayon nalaman natin fake yun,” he said in an interview at the Senate.

(The documents they submitted were fake, for example, the driver’s license, that’s fake. Now we know it’s fake.)

Guingona said the four also identified themselves as employees, however, their alleged employers denied their claims.

“And interestingly because there were withdrawals on February 9, the day after the (Chinese) New Year, interestingly because there were withdrawals, lahat ng bank merong CCTV (all the banks have CCTV [cameras]). Sira yung CCTV on that day, RCBC, Jupiter branch (The CCTV [cameras] on that day, RCBC, Jupiter branch were not functioning),” he said.

“It was reported to us by AMLC,” the senator said, “The whole system was not functioning on that day.”

Asked if he found this suspicious, Guingona said: “Definitely. Very conveniently, sira yung cameras on that day (Very conveniently, the cameras were functioning on that day.)”

The senator said the four bank account holders could not also be found when the committee served its invitations to their given addresses.

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