Return funds to Bangladesh by following procedures—law expert
While it is important to return the funds spirited out of the Bangladesh Bank by transnational hackers, a law expert said it is important to follow procedure and not resort to shortcuts.
“We are in this situation because of shortcuts. We need to start a culture which follows the rules and procedures in going about things,” former University of the East Dean Amado Valdez said on Wednesday.
When asked about his opinion on the possible abbreviated proceedings to return the estimated $81-million to the Bangladeshi government, Valdez said, “The proper procedure in my mind is to institute forfeiture proceedings. This is a short process, especially if there are no other parties who would contest ownership of the money. If there is no other claimant, it can be in the form of a summary proceeding.”
Valdez said going through the process “would help prevent a problematic precedent in the future…in any case, we have jurisdiction over that controversy.”
In February, instructions to steal US$951 million from Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh, were issued. Five transactions issued by hackers or insiders worth $101 million from a Bangladesh Bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York succeeded, with $20M traced to Sri Lanka and $81M to the Philippines.
The funds in Sri Lanka have since been recovered.
The international transfer desk of the intermediate bank, Deustche Bank, blocked a further $850 million in 35 transactions. JE
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