The unknown hackers tried to steal nearly $1 billion from the Bangladesh Bank account between February 4 and February 5, and succeeded in transferring $81 million to four accounts at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) in Manila.
Bangladesh is seeking to recover about $18 million that has been frozen in the Philippines, and Bangladesh Bank officials say errors at RCBC enabled the rest to disappear into the casinom industry.
But RCBC told Reuters that the “Philippine side has done its part” and that the transfers were made based on authenticated instructions over payments network SWIFT.
The hackers used stolen Bangladesh Bank credentials to issue the instructions.
“Going to court instead of the media and various Philippine government agencies is the proper procedure,” RCBC said in a statement.
“We will welcome that complaint as RCBC did not keep any of the funds that were released by the NY Fed and sent via three global banks after authentication by SWIFT.”
The statement added that Bangladesh Bank must follow the “correct legal procedures instead of unduly burdening the Philippine government”.
A source close to Bangladesh Bank, who has direct knowledge of the legal position of the central bank, said it would sue RCBC if ongoing efforts to recover the money fail.
A Bangladesh central bank team is currently in Manila to hasten the recovery process but said they were close to getting back only $15 million of the total loot.
Bangladesh Bank spokesman Subhankar Saha could not immediately be reached for comment.