Chinese man named in Bangladesh cyber heist to ‘answer everything’


– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Chinese man named in Bangladesh cyber heist to “answer everything”
Phuket Gazette / Reuters

MANILA: A Chinese man settled in the Philippines who is suspected to have received part of the $81 million (£57.3 million) stolen from the Bangladesh central bank will reveal all he knows about the heist next week, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

According to a complaint filed by a government agency in Manila, Kim Wong, described as a Chinese casino resort manager, received around $21 million of the stolen funds.

Victor Fernandez, a lawyer for 53-year old Wong, told Reuters his client would respond to the complaint at a Senate hearing next week.

Wong was summoned by the Senate last week but Fernandez represented him at the hearing and said his client was in Singapore. He returned on Sunday, Fernandez said.

“He will answer everything. He will not invoke his right to remain silent,” Fernandez said. “He will answer these questions in open session.”

Wong is scheduled to appear when the Senate resumes its hearing into the scandal on March 29.

Wong is a Chinese national but has lived in the Philippines for nearly 50 years, according to Fernandez. He declined to give more details on Wong, including his occupation.

Unknown hackers breached the computer systems of Bangladesh Bank in early February and attempted to steal $951 million from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which it uses for international settlements.

Some attempted transfers were blocked, but $81 million wound up in the Philippines.

The Philippines’ anti-money laundering council described Wong as the president and general manager of Eastern Hawaii, a company that runs a casino resort in the northern Philippines, in a criminal complaint filed at the Justice Department on Tuesday.

According to the 9-page complaint, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, one billion pesos, or $21 million, of the $81 million ended up in a Philippine bank account of Eastern Hawaii between Feb 10-11.

Reuters made repeated attempts to contact the company, but there has been no response.

Wong made several withdrawals from the account totalling 900.48 million pesos (£13.7 million) between Feb 10-26, the complaint said.

It did not give full details but said the transfers included one on Feb 10 to Wong’s personal account in the same bank. The next day, he withdrew 400 million pesos in cash from that account, it said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

World News

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