Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bangladesh suggests inter-agency task force to recover BB heist fund from Philippines

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2017-08-07 23:57:09 BdST


Bangladesh has asked the Philippines to form an “inter-agency task force” to coordinate the recovery of the fund plundered from the Bangladesh Bank through the cyber heist.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali made the request to his counterpart Alan Cayetano at a meeting on Monday in Manila, the foreign ministry said.

He thanked Caeytano for the support extended by the Filipino government in recovering part of the heist fund.

Manila, in November last year, handed over $15 million, part of the $81 million stolen from the Federal Reserve account in New York and transferred to bank accounts in the Philippines.

Hackers tried to steal nearly $1 billion from the central bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve in February last year and succeeded in transferring $81 million to four accounts at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp in Manila.

The fund was wired to the accounts of junket operators after which it found its way to casinos.

A Philippine court in September ruled that Bangladesh Bank was the rightful owner of around $15 million surrendered by casino boss Kim Wong and his Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company.

The foreign minister is in Manila to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum or ARF meetings.

The foreign ministry said at the bilateral meeting, Ali and his host counterpart also discussed the possibilities and ways of deepening the cooperation between the countries, and to start flights between Dhaka and Manila.

Cayetano assured the foreign minister of his government’s full support.

The foreign minister invited him to attend the OIC Ministerial Meeting to be hosted by Bangladesh next year.