Bangladesh to sue Manila bank over $81 million cyberheist

The Philippine central bank fined RCBC a record one billion pesos ($20 million) in 2016 for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen money through it. (Reuters)
Updated 07 February 2018
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Bangladesh to sue Manila bank over $81 million cyberheist

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s central bank will file a lawsuit against a Philippines bank for its role in one of the world’s biggest cyberheists two years ago, a deputy governor said on Wednesday.
Unidentified hackers stole $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Fed in February 2016, using fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system.
The money was sent to accounts at Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.
“Bangladesh Bank will file a lawsuit in a New York court within two to three months in connection with the reserve theft,” central bank deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan said.
“We are in talks with the Federal Reserve Bank and SWIFT to join us as they are also victims,” he added.
The Philippine bank could not immediately be reached by telephone and text message for comment outside office hours.
Reuters reported in December that Bangladesh Bank had asked the New York Fed to join a lawsuit it was considering filing against Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) seeking damages.
After two years, there is no word on who was responsible and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator.
The Philippine central bank fined RCBC a record one billion pesos ($20 million) in 2016 for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen money through it.
RCBC has blamed rogue employees and Philippine prosecutors have filed money laundering charges against a former RCBC bank manager and four people who owned the bank accounts where the funds were sent, but are not identifiable since the accounts were in fake names. They are the only people to be formally cited anywhere in the world in association with the crime.
RCBC has said it would not pay any compensation to Bangladesh Bank and the Dhaka bank bore responsibility for the theft since it was negligent.


Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

Updated 59 min 49 sec ago
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Urgency needed to boost Palestinian economy: IMF chief

  • The MF has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy
  • ‘If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained’

MANAMA: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that major economic growth was possible in the Palestinian territories if all sides showed urgency, as she took part in a US-led conference boycotted by the Palestinian leadership.
The International Monetary Fund has been warning of severe deterioration in the Palestinian economy, with tax revenue blocked in a dispute with Israel which has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade.
“If there is an economic plan, if there is urgency, it’s a question of making sure that the momentum is sustained,” said Lagarde.
The IMF chief is attending a conference in Bahrain to discuss the economic aspects of a United States plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has already been rejected by the Palestinians as it fails to address key political issues.
Lagarde said for the US plan to work “it will require all the goodwill in the world on the part of all parties — private sector, public sector, international organizations and the parties on the ground and their neighbors.”
Citing examples of post-conflict countries, Lagarde said that private investors needed progress in several sectors including strengthening the central bank, better managing public finance and mobilizing domestic revenue.
“If anti-corruption is really one of the imperatives of the authorities — as it was in Rwanda, for instance — then things can really take off,” she said.
The plan presented by White House adviser Jared Kushner calls for $50 billion of investment in the Palestinian territories and its neighbors within a decade.
The proposals for infrastructure, tourism, education and more aim to create one million Palestinian jobs.
Gross domestic product in the Gaza Strip declined by eight percent last year, while there was only minor growth in the West Bank.
Kushner, opening the conference on Tuesday, called the plan the “Opportunity of the Century” — and said the Palestinians needed to accept it before a deal can be reached on political solutions.
The Palestinian Authority has rejected the conference, saying that the US and Israel are trying to dangle money to impose their ideas on a political settlement.
Washington says it will unveil the political aspects of its peace deal at a later date, most likely after Israel’s September election.