Digital Heist Casts Spotlight on Philippine Banking Laws
$81M Stolen From Bangladeshi Government
Senators in the Philippines along with The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that a massive digital heist allowed culprits to transfer more than $80M from an account belonging to the Bangladeshi Government to an account managed by a gambling junket operator in Manila’s Solaire Casino.
Hackers managed to electronically transfer the money by breaching the Swift money system in Bangladesh. The money appears to have been moved through the Philippines’ casinos specifically because they are exempt from anti-money laundering laws, unlike the system that governs the Philippine banking system.
The bank secrecy laws are now under fire from financial regulators around the world who believe the Philippines to be a hot bed for corruption and money laundering due to the countries strict banking secrecy laws.
One Senator was quoted saying, “the casinos here in the Philippines are a black hole.” “Once the money goes in there, it is gone.”