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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh Bank heist: US court dismisses RCBC, others’ applications

The US Court “further declined to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims”

Update : 23 Mar 2020, 04:27 PM

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed the applications filed by the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), Solaire Resort and Casino, Mydas Resort and Casino and others.

They filed the applications against a civil case filed by Bangladesh Bank against them for recovering the whole money stolen from the central bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2016, said a Bangladesh Bank press release on Monday.

The court dismissed the applications of RCBC and others based on the lack of subject matter jurisdiction as per the forum non conveniens doctrine.

The court order mentioned that the heist occurred at the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York and it is doubtlessly proven that everything, including payment order through forgery, transaction of the heisted money by different correspondents’ accounts, and transfer of the money to other countries from the accounts, happened at New York.

The court also mentioned that the vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank firmly mentioned that they can provide technical support to the Bangladesh Bank under a formal agreement between the Bangladesh Bank and the Federal Reserve.

At that time, the Southern District Court said considering the public interest, New York is the perfect place for operating the case where a federal organization of the district faced a cyberattack.

Bangladesh Bank filed the case against RCBC and others with the New York court to recover the whole money heisted from the central bank’s account with Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February 2019.

Hackers stole a total of $101 million from Bangladesh’s account with the New York Fed in February 2016.

Of the amount, $81 million was transferred to four accounts with the RCBC in Manila, and another $20 million to a bank in Sri Lanka. But the transfer of $20 million to Sri Lanka had failed because of a spelling error by the hackers.

Later, the Bangladesh Bank was able to retrieve about $15 million from the Philippines.

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