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BB heist: Dhaka wants fined money back

  • Published at 04:51 pm December 3rd, 2019
Web_bangladesh-bank--Mehedi-Hasan
File photo of the main entrance of Bangladesh Bank in Motijheel, Dhaka Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka also sought information regarding identities of the perpetrators involved in the stealing

Bangladesh wants to get US$ 20 million from the Philippines, imposed on Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) as fine over the cyber heist at Bangladesh Bank.

Dhaka also sought information regarding identities of the perpetrators involved in the stealing, reports UNB.

Bangladesh raised the issues at the second Foreign Office Consultation between the two countries held in the city on Tuesday, four years after it happened.

“We are making our claim saying …you [Philippines] could at least give us that fined money... Ultimately, the fine was imposed in connection with same issue [BB heist],” Secretary (Asia and Pacific) Masud Bin Momen told reporters at State guesthouse Meghna after the meeting.

Dr Momen, who led the Bangladesh delegation at the meeting, said they sought cooperation from the Philippines in a number of areas, including information, identities of some of the perpetrators and some financial information.

If these two issues are resolved, he said it will be easier for Bangladesh to give a chargesheet in the case filed here. 

He said the Philippines assured them of providing the identities and extending cooperation in other requested areas.

Earlier, Philippines’ banking regulators imposed the single biggest monetary penalty in their country’s history, slapping RCBC with a US$21.2-million fine in the wake of the cyberheist at the Bangladesh Bank.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Republic of the Philippines, said the penalty represents “the largest amount ever approved as part of its supervisory enforcement actions on a BSP-supervised financial institution.”

Dr Momen said investigation is going on at various layers as some money had been laundered.

On February 4, 2016, hackers broke into Bangladesh Bank's systems and generated 70 fake payment orders for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to draw about $1.94 billion.

Regarding the fined money, the Philippines said the fine was imposed as they violated the banking law.

They claimed that there has been no direct link between the imposed fine and stolen money from Bangladesh.

Terming cyber heist or cybercrime an emerging phenomenon, he said Bangladesh wants to resolve the heist issue amicably through discussion to set an example for other countries in the world.

“Today, Bangladesh is a victim of it. It might happen to other countries. There are vulnerabilities for all. We are stressing more cooperation between Bangladesh and the Philippines to find a solution to it,” he said.

Asked about any timeframe to resolve these issues, Dr Momen said there is no particular timeframe as they have no hand in legal process but stronger cooperation between the two countries might lead to a solution.

Responding to a question, he said the both sides exchanged a number of MoUs related to health, nursing, agriculture sector and maritime cooperation.

Dr Momen said they discussed all the components of bilateral relations between the two countries, including migration, climate change and disaster risk reduction where the two countries share experiences.

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