Bank manager in Cebu absconds with millions of pesos in depositors’ money; set to face charges in court

By: Malou Guanzon Apalisok - CDN Digital | October 29,2019 - 04:09 PM

CEBU CITY,  Philippines — Depositors of a thrift bank that lost millions of pesos through unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts by the bank’s branch manager are set to file civil and criminal charges against the officer and the bank. 

The subject bank  located in uptown Cebu City was not the only branch affected as another branch of the same bank  also lost their money through fraudulent bank transactions, according to a source.

CDN Digital is withholding the name of the bank as attempts continue to get its side on the allegation.

One of the victims told CDN Digital on Tuesday, October 29, 2019,  that the branch manager was able to withdraw P3 million from her time deposit account through forged documents and signatures validated by other bank officers. 

The source claimed another depositor lost P7 million through the fraudulent transaction.  At least 20 other depositors lost millions of pesos from the illegal withdrawals for an estimated combined loss of P50 million.

The series of illegal withdrawals happened in September this year. 

But according to one of the victims who spoke with CDN Digital, the scam could have happened as early as July this year after a businesswoman-client of the bank reported that P4 million in her deposit account went missing. The source said the bank manager could have pilfered money from several time deposit accounts in order to reconcile the financial transaction.  

According to the source, she got wind of the fraudulent scheme when she told the manager this month that she intends to pre-terminate her time deposit account because she needed money for a big purchase.  Despite the bank manager’s assurance, she wasn’t able to withdraw the money from her time deposit account.  

The victim said she and the other victims placed their money in the said bank because they trusted the manager, who, the source said, was a good friend.

The victim said she has lodged a complaint before the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas. 

She revealed the branch manager who is currently at large tried to flee to the United Kingdom but failed to get a visa after submitting a dubious bank certification. As a result, the UK government blacklisted the bank official from entering the country.

Once a case is filed in court, the victims could seek the help of the International Police Organization (Interpol) through its National Central Bureau (NCB) in the Philippines.   

In a separate interview, Lawyer Gary Maningo, manager of the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas, said the aggrieved depositors may file a a complaint before the BSP’s Financial Consumers Protection Department.  

Financial consumers aggrieved by the conduct, products and services of a financial institution may seek redress through FCPD which is mandated to provide consumer assistance through “an effective redress mechanism,” according to Maningo.  /elb

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