• Friday, Jul 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:11 pm

BB heist: 17 Philippines entities including RCBC sued again

  • Published at 10:38 am June 2nd, 2020
web-Bangladesh bank-bb
The Bangladesh Bank building at Motijheel Mehedi Hasan/ Dhaka Tribune

Only $17 million of the total $81m stolen has been recovered

Bangladesh Bank authorities have filed a fresh civil case against 17 Philippines entities, including the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in bid to recover $81 million lost in a bank heist in 2016.

Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, which owns Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila, confirmed about the case to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday reports CNN.

It said the Bangladesh central bank filed a fresh case against its subsidiary Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc (BRHI) and 16 others before a New York State court.

In the civil complaint, the  charges against the companies have been brought for conversion, theft, or misappropriation, and aiding and abetting such acts, the report said.

The firm also said Dhaka has accused these firms of conspiracy to commit fraud, trespass against chattels, and their "unjust enrichment."

RCBC is being charged for fraud as well, Bloomberry's disclosure also stated.

The company also added that: "Summons have not been served here. BRHI will vigorously defend itself against these baseless charges.”

In March, a US District Court dismissed conspiracy charges against RCBC and local casinos for their supposed violation of the American law Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. 

RCBC, as well as Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, Ltd, Centurytex Trading, and remittance firm Philrem Service Corp. and their officers have been cleared of the charges, the CNN report further said.

Bloomberry said the ruling on the previous case has been appealed by Bangladesh before the US Circuit Court of Appeals.

The cases originated from the February 2016 Bangladesh Bank heist, where thieves tapped into the system of the US Federal Reserve in New York and authorized multiple fund transfers from the Bangladesh Bank's account to a number of fake bank accounts under RCBC, CNN report said.

The funds were wired during a long weekend, which left no time for regulators to block the transactions. 

The funds were withdrawn, converted into pesos and eventually into poker chips and gambled in casino tables here, where the money trail vanished, the report further added.

Of the total $81m stolen, only $17 million has been recovered till date. 

This is the biggest money laundering incident involving Philippines, which prompted lawmakers to require casinos to regularly report big-ticket and suspicious transactions to authorities.

Bloomberry previously stated that Bangladesh Bank was relying on these court cases to collect the amount it supposedly lost to North Korean hackers. the CNN report concluded.

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