Philippines seeks to tighten money laundering laws after heist
10 May 2016

The Philippines started the process to strengthen its anti-money laundering and bank secrecy laws on Tuesday, aiming to plug loopholes that allowed $81 million stolen in one of the world’s biggest cyber heists to pass through Manila banks and casinos.

The Department of Finance said it was working with the country’s anti-money laundering council and central bank to amend the list of entities covered by its anti-money laundering law to include casinos. A draft bill was submitted to Congress, it said.

Unidentified hackers infiltrated the computers at the Bangladesh central bank in early February and tried to transfer $951 million from its settlement account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Most transfers were blocked, but $81 million was sent to four accounts at a branch of the Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. It was then moved through a remittance firm and later to casinos and gambling agents. Most of that money is missing.

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