Bangladesh government has decided to talk with the Chinese authorities on returning of two gamblers involved in casino business and laundering of the money stolen from Bangladesh Bank's account, said official sources.
Bloomberg recently reported that China has arrested two casino businessmen long involved with gambling and who have allegedly links with the laundering of the stolen $81m.
They are Chinese nationals identified as Ding, 45, and Gao, 53. Their bank accounts have been frozen.
The decision for negotiating the matter with China was taken at a task-force meeting on Bangladesh Bank reserves heist in Dhaka on Wednesday. Senior Secretary to Financial Institutions Division Md Eunusur Rahman presided over the meeting attended by high officials of Bangladesh Bank and Attorney General's office.
As per the decision, a meeting will be held with high officials of foreign ministry to convince the Chinese ambassador in Bangladesh to help in returning the stolen money from the Philippines, said an official present at the task-force meeting.
The meeting also decided to file two cases against the Philippines bank Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York six months before the government finishes its current term. The Awami League government's tenure will end in January, 2019.
The meeting sources said the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) will submit charge-sheet against the alleged people of Bangladesh Bank heist quickly.
After the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told journalists that they would get back the stolen money, though it will be late.
He reiterated that the probe committee report of the reserve heist would not be disclosed right now.
In February, 2016, $81m from Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves was stolen from the New York Federal Reserve and much of it was transferred to the Philippines branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Bangladesh has, so far, managed to retrieve $15m of the stolen funds and is working to recover the rest.