New York-based Soleil Chartered Bank (SCB) has categorically denied issuing a bank certificate that helped third party auditor Global ComRCI consortium win a P6 billion contract with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to audit the revenue of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) prompting Senator Win Gatchalian to call for the immediate termination of the deal.
“The contract between PAGCOR and Global ComRCI should be terminated immediately,” Gatchalian said, citing a letter dated February 13, 2023 addressed to him by Soleil, the bank that purportedly issued a bank guarantee in favor of Global ComRCI.
Gatchalian revealed the letter contains an outright denial from Soleil stating that “to dispel any doubt whatsoever, SCB would like to make record that it did not issue the questioned bank certification dated June 15, 2017.” It can be recalled that PAGCOR presented during a Senate committee hearing a bank guarantee purportedly issued by Soleil to Global ComRCI in the amount of $25 million in compliance with a capital requirement set by PAGCOR in contracting an independent auditor for POGOs.
The letter further stated that SCB does not have within its records any accounts under the name Global ComRCI as such entity is not a client of the bank. SCB even said in its letter to the senator that it does not engage in banking business, it does not have an office in the Philippines, and its supposed office address in the Philippines is spurious. During the last hearing, the supposed bank certificate from Soleil which was presented by PAGCOR officials bore the office address Suite 2704A West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road, Ortigas Commercial Center, Pasig City.
Gatchalian said the letter was in response to a letter request made by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by him, in relation to the validity of the bank guarantee with the aim of establishing the credibility of POGO operations in the country.
“The letter I received from Soleil was signed by Govind Srivastava and Balwinder Kaur. But if we look back on our past hearings, the bank guarantee from Soliel that was presented by PAGCOR was also signed by Govind Srivastava,” said Gatchalian.
“Malinaw na peke ang bank guarantee na isinumite ng third party contractor sa PAGCOR. Dahil dito, kaduda-duda ang idineklarang kita ng mga POGO dahil lumalabas na walang kredibilidad ang proseso ng pag-audit,” he stressed.
In the same letter, the bank also expressed confidence that those involved in the issuance of the fake bank guarantee will be held accountable by the court. “We trust that this matter has been clarified and hope that whoever may have committed this forgery will be dealt with accordingly in the proper court of law,” the letter stated.