Dhaka, Saturday, February 24, 2018

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BB decides to sue RCBC soon over reserve heist

DHAKA, Feb 7, 2018 (BSS) - Bangladesh Bank (BB) has taken a decision to file a lawsuit in two to three months against Filipino Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) to recover the whole money heisted from the central bank's account with Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

"BB is taking preparations for suing RCBC at New York," Finance Minister AMA Muhith told journalists after the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) meeting at the cabinet division in the city today.

Meanwhile, Ajmalul Hossain QC, a member of BB's legal team, at a press conference said BB, Federal Reserve Bank and global financial messaging service SWIFT will file the case against the RCBC in two to three months in a New York court.

"We are going to file the case in a New York court. We are discussing with Federal Reserve Bank for suing as they are also a victim of this heist. So, BB, Fed and SWIFT will jointly file the case," he said.

He said the Philippines government is providing all sorts of legal support to Bangladesh for recovering the heisted reserve money.

BB organised the press conference at the central bank headquarters to disclose the progress in the recovery process of the heisted money.

BB's deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan also attended the press conference.

Razee Hassan said BB has already decided to file the case against RCBC and the bank is working in this regard.

He said several cases are ongoing in different Philippines courts for recovering the money under the Philippines government and the central bank has constantly been monitoring the development of the cases.

Hackers stole a total $101 million from Bangladesh's account at the New York Fed in February 2016.

Of the amount, $81 million was transferred to four accounts at 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, BB was able to retrieve about $15 million from Philippines.

Of the rest of the $66 million, the deputy governor also informed, about $51.5 million has already been traced and all legal procedures are going on to recover the whole heisted money.