Bangladesh to sue New York Fed, RCBC over $81mn heist: Muhith


Staff Reporter:

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said Bangladesh will sue the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Philippines’ RCBC over the heist of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account with the US bank.

“Bangladesh Bank has been working seriously to file a case in this regard and there’s no alternative to it,” he said while talking to reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase.

Muhith said the central bank can file the case until January 15 next and it will do it by the deadline.

He said both the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the RCBC will be made accused in the case as they received the fund and disbursed it.

The Finance Minister expressed the hope the New York Fed will cooperate with Bangladesh as it is the custodian of entire fund of the world. “I think they’ll cooperate with us as it’ll ultimately be in their favour.”

Following discussions with the New York Fed, Bangladesh is convinced that the case will be filed in a New York court and the Bangladesh mission in Washington is coordinating it, he said.

International robbers withdrew $101 million from the Bangladesh Bank account with the Federal Reserve of New Your through fraudulent instructions against their target of about $1 billion in February 2016.

However, some $20 million was recovered from a Sri Lankan bank while $81 million, which landed in Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), could not be recovered.

Most of the money transferred to the Philippines went to four personal accounts, held by single individuals.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York blocked the remaining thirty transactions, amounting to US $850 million, due to suspicions raised by a misspelled instruction.

Around $18 million of the $81 million transferred to the Philippines has so far been recovered. It was later suspected that Dridex malware was used for the attack.

Muhith noted that he will prepare a report on the country’s financial situation and submit it to the government. “The banking sector will get a focus in the report as it has been the weakest area of the economy as far as I’m concerned,” he said.unb


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