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Former RCBC officer rejects US immunity offer in Bangladesh Bank heist case

A former RizalCommercial Banking Corp. branch manager rejected the U.S. FederalBureau of Investigation's offer of immunity from prosecution in the Bangladesh Bankheist case, Bloomberg News reported Sept. 29, citing her lawyer, FerdinandTopacio.

Maia Santos Deguito was accused of aiding the theft of US$81 million fromBangladesh Bank's account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York when sheallowed the amount to be withdrawn from the bank despite requests from thecentral bank to halt the transactions. She earlier denied any wrongdoing.

Deguito rejected the FBI's offer because it was"inadequate" to protect her interests, Topacio said.

Topacio added that the FBI wanted Deguito to shareinformation on Kim Wong, a casino junket operator, who returned around US$15million of the stolen funds to Philippine authorities, Bloomberg reported.

In August, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Rizal Commercial Banking 1 billionPhilippine pesos for its involvement in the theft. Earlier this month, aPhilippine court ordered the central bank to return the recovered funds to Bangladesh.

As of Sept. 28, US$1was equivalent to 48.23 Philippine pesos.