PH not privy to Bangladesh-RCBC plan
The Philippine government has “nothing to do” with a statement by Bangladesh’s central bank that it is open to an out-of-court settlement with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said on Friday.
Dominguez said that he told his Bangladesh counterpart, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, during their meeting on the sidelines of the 51st annual meeting of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank on Thursday that the planned settlement was “between [Bangladesh] and the private sector (RCBC).”
“It has nothing to do with us. The Philippine government has taken action—we have penalized the banks that have not followed our procedures and we have filed legal cases,” Dominguez said.
$81 million stolen
He said the Anti-Money Laundering Council had already filed cases in connection with the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh central bank’s accounts in New York by hackers who wired the money to RCBC.
“If they want to make a legal settlement, then we are not involved in that,” he added.
In one of the world’s biggest cyberheists, the hackers stole the Bangladesh Bank money held at the New York federal bank in February 2016 using fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system.
From RCBC, some of the stolen money disappeared into casinos in Manila.
“There is an option before us to settle the issue out of court,” a senior official of Bangladesh Bank told Reuters.
Bangladesh had planned a suit to recover $66 million. Around $15 million had been recovered from a Manila junket operator. —BEN O. DE VERA