BB heist: Info on perpetrators sought from Philippines | The Daily Star
03:05 PM, December 03, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:45 PM, December 03, 2019

BB heist: Info on perpetrators sought from Philippines

Says Secretary (Asia Pacific) of foreign ministry Masud bin Momen

Bangladesh has sought from the Philippines the identities of the perpetrators involved in Bangladesh Bank heist.

The Philippines assured of providing the identities and extending all other cooperation, Masud bin Momen, secretary (Asia Pacific) of the foreign ministry, told journalists after a foreign office consultation at the state guest house Meghan today.

In August 2016, Philippine banking regulators imposed the single biggest monetary penalty on an erring financial institution in the country’s history, slapping Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) with a US$21.2-million (P1-billion) fine in the wake of the cyber heist at Bangladesh Bank.

“We wanted share of the money that was fined. But they said it was done as per the Filipino law. So, they cannot do it,” Momen said.

On February 4, 2016, hackers broke into BB's systems and generated 70 fake payment orders for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to draw about $1.94 billion.

While the NY Fed's security system flagged the payment orders, five of them fell through and $101 million was released. Finally, $81 million was wired to RCBC's branch in Manila, while $20 million landed in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka sent back the entire sum immediately after the heist was exposed, while the Philippines sent back $14.54 million in November 2016 -- meaning $66.46 million is yet to be retrieved from the Philippines. A number of cases involving a major portion of the fund are pending with courts in the Philippines.

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