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Return funds to Bangladesh by following procedures—law expert

/ 06:06 PM April 06, 2016
Amado D. Valdez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Amado D. Valdez INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

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.

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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.”

READ: Solons debate on return of funds to Bangladesh gov’t

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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.

READ: Hackers steal $100M from Bangladesh bank

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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TAGS: Bangladesh, Bangladesh Bank, Heist, launder, law expert, Money Laundering, return, stolen fund
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