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Rubel Rana

Published:
2018-08-07 10:28:26 BdST

RESERVE HEIST: BB to file lawsuit in NY court by January


FT ONLINE

The central bank is going to file a damage claim with a New York court by January next year to recover its reserve money stolen through one of the biggest cyber crimes in the world in February 2016.

The decision came at a meeting of a taskforce formed to recover the money. Eunusur Rahman, head of the taskforce and also senior secretary of the banking division, chaired the meeting at the finance ministry yesterday.

When contacted, Rahman said the meeting discussed how Bangladesh can recover the money.

Officials of the finance ministry and the Bangladesh Bank said they will decide against whom the damage claim would be filed after consulting with a New York-based law firm.

Unidentified hackers took away $81 million from the central bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using fake orders on the SWIFT payments system.

Later, the money was sent to accounts at the Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), from where it disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.

So far, Bangladesh was able to retrieve $15 million from the Philippines.

A finance ministry official said Bangladesh has prepared a roadmap for steps that will be taken before making the claim.  The government will seek proposals from four New York-based law firms next week and will select one firm from them, said Rahman.

Based on the firm's recommendations, Bangladesh will complete preparations for filing the damage claim by November.

The official said the money was stolen from the NY Fed and channelled to RCBC, but different parties were involved in the entire process.

The official said the money was stolen from the NY Fed and channelled to RCBC, but different parties were involved in the entire process.

Earlier, a high level meeting decided that a case will be filed in a third country if the money cannot be recovered. In that case, the lawsuit will be lodged with a New York court, he said. As per US law, a lawsuit related to damage claim has to be filed within three years from the occurrence of an incident, the official said. So, the damage claim must be filed by February.

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