Bangladesh filed a lawsuit against Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) of the Philippines over the heist of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
“The case was filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York around 7am (NY time 8:00pm on January 31) against RCBC to recoup the full amount stolen in the February, 2016 heist, said Abu Hena Mohammed Raji Hasan, head of Bangladesh Finance Intelligence Unit (BIFU) of Bangladesh Bank.
The case was filed through online with the court in Manhattan in New York City and the court accepted the lawsuit immediately, he said.
Razee Hassan said RCBC, Manila and other agencies whose names came up during the probe were made accused in the case.
“RCBC and its senior personnel had full authority and control over these accounts, and all of the RCBC personnel who touched them, from the opening of the fictitious accounts, to terminating the short-lived hold, to allowing the numerous transactions to continue despite their knowledge or reckless disregard of the nature of the stolen funds,” BB said in the case statement.
Meanwhile, RCBC, sued for conspiracy to steal Bangladesh Bank reserves, said it has hired top US law firm Quinn Emanuel to defend the lawsuit filed by Bangladesh Bank.
RCBC said this in a stock exchange filing on Friday.
“We will show that this suit is nothing more than a political stunt by the Bangladesh Bank to try to shift blame from themselves to RCBC,” Tai-Heng Cheng, Quinn Emanuel’s lead attorney to the case, was quoted as saying in the filing.
“RCBC had nothing to do with the theft of the funds and has cooperated fully with every investigation into the matter,” he added.
Mentionable, international hackers stole $101 million from the Bangladesh Bank account with the Federal Reserve Bank through fraudulent orders against their target of about $1 billion in February 2016.
Of the amount, $81 million was transferred to four accounts with the RCBC’s branch in Manila and another $20 million to a bank in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka sent back $20 million soon after the heist while Philippines returned $15 million in November 2016– meaning $66 million is yet to be retrieved from there.