Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Bangladesh Bank knows whereabouts of stolen funds, says Governor Fazle Kabir

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2019-02-03 00:12:56 BdST


Bangladesh Bank has information about where the stolen reserves are being kept in the Philippines, said Governor Fazle Kabir.

A large part of the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Federal Reserve in 2016 was said to have disappeared in the Philippines’ casino industry.

But Kabir said the individuals who either benefited or were complicit in the heist carried out by hackers have been named in a suit filed with a New York court on Thursday to retrieve the funds.

Speaking at an event in the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management on Saturday, Kabir said: “The funds are being held in various parts of the Philippines. We know where the funds are. The people involved have been made respondents in the law suit.”

The suit aims to recover a total of $66.5 million in compensation, according to Kabir.

Bangladesh Bank filed the lawsuit at the US District Court in Manhattan on Thursday.

The case accuses the Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) and dozens of others, including several top executives, of involvement in a “massive” and “intricately planned” multi-year conspiracy to steal its money.

The case arose from a February 2016 incident when hackers tricked the New York Fed into sending out the $81 million.

Funds eventually landed in four accounts held in fake names at an RCBC branch in Makati City. Much of it was quickly withdrawn, and only about $15 million has been recovered.

Bangladesh Bank said funds were stolen with the help of unnamed North Korean hackers who used malware to obtain backdoor access to its network.

It said funds were then funnelled through RCBC accounts in New York City and to the Philippines, where much of it disappeared in the Southeast Asian country’s casino industry.