Legal

Bangladesh To Sue Philippine Bank RCBC In Alleged $81M Cyber Robbery

Bangladesh To Sue Philippine Bank RCBC Over Alleged $81 Million Heist

The Bangladesh central bank governor said the country is going to file a lawsuit against Philippine bank Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) for its alleged involvement in an $81 million cyber theft, according to a report by Reuters.  

The crime happened in February of 2016, when a group of unknown individuals used fake orders using the SWIFT payments system to steal money from the Bangladesh central bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The lawsuit will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, according to Fazle Kabir, the governor of Bangladesh Bank.

“All necessary processes have been completed, and Bangladesh signed an agreement Tuesday night with the New York Fed Bank to assist Bangladesh in handling this case,” Kabir said.

RCBC is disputing the account. It’s saying that the theft was done inside the bank and that the Bangladesh Bank is covering it up. RCBC said it has hired a leading New York firm to defend it.

“We welcome this complaint, as it is an opportunity for RCBC to put on record again that it was a victim of what was started in Bangladesh by still unnamed persons,” the bank said in a statement.

Just this month, a court in the Philippines found ex-RCBC branch manager Maia Deguito guilty of eight counts of money laundering related to the crime. She was punished with a sentence of between 32 to 56 years in prison and was fined a total of $109 million, according to reports.

The Philippine central bank also fined RCBC in 2016 to the tune of one billion pesos ($20 million) for not stopping the money from going through the bank. The ex-treasurer of the bank and five others are all facing charges for money laundering.

Only $15 million of the money has been recovered so far.

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