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Reserve heist: BB delegation now in Manila to settle reserve heist

  • Published at 10:57 pm March 12th, 2019
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RCBC files defamation case against Bangladesh Bank

A five -member delegation of Bangladesh Bank (BB) has been in the Philippines since last Friday to negotiate with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) over settling the $81 million reserve heist issue.

BB on February 1, filed a lawsuit with a United States federal court, in New York against Philippines-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC). 

Meanwhile, RCBC on Tuesday filed a defamation case against Bangladesh Bank.

The delegation will discuss with the RCBC in Philippines, the defendant of the case, law enforcement agencies, departmental judges, representatives of Money Laundering Resistance Unit, a top BB official said.

“Last Friday a five -member team of Bangladesh Bank left Dhaka for the Philippines. The team is led by Abu Hena Md Razi Hasan, Chief of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU),” BB Executive Director and spokesman serajul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune.

BFIU consultant Dev Prasad Debnath and Bangladesh Bank lawyer Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC are included in the team.

Some representatives of the United States Federal Reserve Bank of New York already joined the BB delegation in Manila.

“This out of the court initiative has been taken as an attempt to get back the money through negotiations. The initiative had been taken before the case was filed in the United States,” another BB official said.

On February 1, this year, Bangladesh Bank filed a lawsuit against the Philippines-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) and several ‘undisclosed individuals’.” with a United States federal court in New York, over the $81 million stolen from its reserve account.  The funds were stolen from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February, 2016.

On February 5, 2016, unidentified hackers stole $101 million from Bangladesh Bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, using fake orders on the SWIFT payment system. It was one of the largest cybercrimes in the world.

The lawsuit comes three years after the cyber heist, which saw $81 million siphoned off to accounts at RCBC.