BB heist: US Federal Reserve assists Bangladesh

03 Feb 2019, 09:17

NTV Online

Dhaka: The United States’ Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) will be assisting Bangladesh’s central bank to recover the $81-million stolen funds in the 2016 cyberheist.

In a joint statement on Friday, February 1, the central banks said it will be working together with Bangladesh’s central bank to ‘bring the wrongdoers responsible to justice’, reports online news site Rappler from Manila, reports the UNB.

‘This agreement demonstrates that the New York Fed and Bangladesh Bank are aligned in the pursuit of recovering the funds and directing litigation against those who were complicit in or benefitted from the fraud,’ they said.

The statement came after Bangladesh sued Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in a US court, for its involvement in the cyberheist. RCBC called dismissed the suit as a ‘political stunt.’

Both central banks said they will be meeting jointly with the agencies or parties in the Philippines ‘to strongly encourage them to assist in the recovery of stolen funds.’

‘To further the recovery effort, the New York Fed and Bangladesh Bank have entered into a Resolution and Assistance Agreement where the New York Fed will provide technical assistance to Bangladesh Bank in its litigation against those who were complicit in the fraud to recover the stolen funds,’ the central banks said.

Both New York Fed and Bangladesh’s central bank pointed out that the multimillion dollar cyberheist ‘represents a threat to the international funds transfer system.’

In February 2016, unidentified hackers stole $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank’s account with the New York Fed. Only $15 million has been recovered.

The money was then transferred to a Manila branch of the RCBC, swiftly withdrawn and laundered through local casinos.

A Philippine court found RCBC former manager Maia Deguito guilty of money laundering over the heist, sentencing her to 4 to 7 years in prison for each of the 8 counts.