Official process to get back $15m of BB reserve heist money at final stage
14 August 2016, Nirapad News: Bangladesh Bank (BB) is expecting to get back soon US$15 million out of the US$101 million reserve heist money from Philippines as the official process in this regard is now at final stage.
BB has already sent affidavit and other necessary documents to the offices concerned of Philippines as it will have to apply to a court of Philippines through affidavit from August 16 to 30, the central bank said in a statement today.
The Department of Justice of Philippines will now apply to the court for returning back the money under Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Request sent by Bangladesh, said the statement signed by joint director Mahua Mohsin.
At the same time, BB has constantly been maintaining contact with the Department of Justice and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of Philippines. Besides, other related documents were supplied from BB to send to Bangladesh embassy in Philippines through diplomatic channel.
According to BB, a joint motion was filed with a court by Filipino-Chinese businessman Kim Wong and the AMLC to return back $15 million returned by Kim Wong. The court issued Partial Forfeiture Order on July 1 that created the scope for BB to get back the amount.
BB said computer hackers attempted to steal $1, 926 million more from Bangladesh’s account at the New York Fed in February this year. But the thieves were able to move about $81 million to accounts in the Philippines and another $20 million to a bank in Sri Lanka.
The transfer of Bangladesh funds to Sri Lanka could be stopped following a spelling error by the hackers. BB was able to bring bank $20 million from Sri Lanka.
As part of the move to recover the stolen money from Philippines, BB governor Fazle Kabir talked to the governor of the central bank of Philippines over telephone several times and requested the governor to take actions against the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) where hackers deposited the stolen money in four accounts. The BB governor also sent letter twice to the governor of the central bank of Philippines.
As a result, The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) slapped a record P1-billion (about $21 million) fine on RCBC for its role in the theft of $81 million from the account of the Bangladesh Bank in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.