US law firms to advise BB on damage claim | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 18, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 18, 2018


US law firms to advise BB on damage claim

US law firms will provide reports to Bangladesh Bank in the next three weeks on the basis of which the central bank will file a damage claim suit with a New York court in connection with the BB reserve heist.

A BB high official said they appointed two law firms from among five for consultation about the damage suit. The official said, after getting the report, they would file the damage claim suit in a New York court by this year.

He said earlier they decided to file the suit next year. But after the US government framed a charge about the reserve heist, the central bank decided to go for filing the suit this year.

According to a Reuters report on September 6, the US government charged and sanctioned a North Korean man in the 2017 global WannaCry ransomware cyber attack and the 2014 cyber assault on Sony Corp.

The charges, part of a strategy by the US government to deter future cyber attacks by naming and shaming the alleged perpetrators, also alleged that the North Korean hacker broke into the central bank of Bangladesh in 2016, according to a criminal complaint.

The BB official said the attempt to recover the stolen money of the central bank was now under legal process and more time would be needed to complete it through the Philippines' legal procedures.

The official said the BB has decided to continue the process of recovering the stolen money by filing a damage claim in a New York court. The high official said, “The charge framed by the US Department of Justice will later expedite the legal process taken by the central bank.”

He also said the recent law suit would strengthen the BB's claim for the repatriation of the stolen money.

The official said the charge proved that the money was stolen by international hackers.

Bangladesh's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on July 5 submitted a report on the reserve hacking through an affidavit in a Philippine court.

In the report, they submitted primary evidence of international hackers being involved in the heist, said the central bank official.

According to a BB report of February 4, 2016, the hackers attempted to steal $1,926 million from the central bank account with the New York Fed through 70 fake payment instructions.

Of the amount, one payment order of $20 million was sent to Sri Lanka which the BB later got back.

Hackers took to the Philippines $81 million from the central bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using four fake orders on the SWIFT payments system.

Later, the money was sent to accounts with the Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), from where it disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines. So far, Bangladesh was able to retrieve $15 million from the Philippines.

As per the US law, a lawsuit related to damage claims has to be filed within three years of the occurrence of an incident, the official said. This meant the damage claim must be filed by February next year.

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