Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bangladesh will publish reserve heist report after Philippines lawsuits ends, says Muhith

  • Sylhet Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-08-05 15:40:21 BdST


Finance Minister AMA Muhith says he will make the Bangladesh Bank heist report public only after the lawsuit in Philippines ends.

A panel led by former central bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin submitted its findings almost a year ago.

"We can't release it until the lawsuit in Philippines is settled," Muhith told reporters in Sylhet on Saturday.

Cyber criminals tried to steal nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank in February last year and made off with $81 million via an account with the New York Federal Reserve.

The fund was wired to four accounts with false names at a Manila branch of the Philippines’s Rizal Commercial Banking Corp or RCBC before vanishing.

Most of the money was laundered through Philippine casinos.

About $15 million recovered from a gaming junket operator has been returned to Bangladesh, with a further $2.7 million frozen.

RCBC was fined a record $20 million by the Philippine central bank for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen money through its bank.

An anti-money laundering body filed charges against five RCBC officials in connection with the theft.

Bangladesh formed an inquiry over the heist, which made headlines in the international media, led by Farashuddin.

It has been almost a year the probe body filed its findings to Finance Minister Muhith, but the government did not made it public.

A few months ago, Muhith went on record saying that they would reveal the findings after recovering the remaining funds.

"Rizal Bank has already declined to return the remaining of money. It would be a bit problematic, if we publish them now," Muhith said on Saturday replying to a query from the media.