Heist money comeback soon : Hearing on returning $15m

Bangladesh-BankDaily Dhaka Times : (BSS)- Bangladesh Bank is expecting a hearing date soon to wrap up the process of bringing back US$15 million out of $81 million stolen from its reserve from the Philippines.

On August 26, the Department of Justice of the Philippines applied to a court there under Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Request sent by Bangladesh to complete the formalities of returning US$15 million, BB’s deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan told BSS.

“We are waiting to have a hearing date soon to wrap up the process,” he added.

Earlier, BB sent affidavit and other necessary documents to the offices concerned of the Philippines for applying to a court of the Philippines within a scheduled time from August 16 to 30 to bring back the money.

BB has constantly been maintaining contact with the Department of Justice and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of the Philippines. Besides, other related documents were supplied from BB to send those to Bangladesh embassy in the 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 the $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 back $20 million from Sri Lanka.

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.


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