Bangladesh Bank files fresh case with New York state court over heist

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:43, Jun 01,2020


The Bangladesh Bank has filed a fresh case with the New York state court over the $81-million heist from the central bank’s reserve kept with the United States’ Federal Reserve Bank after the lockdown in New York was lifted.

Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit chief Abu Hena Mohammad Razi Hasan told New Age on Monday that the case was filed immediately after the more-than-three-month lockdown was lifted.

‘Once the court issues a reference number against the case it would be considered as accepted,’ he said.

On March 22 the Southern District Court of New York found the case filed by the Bangladesh central bank on January 31, 2019 out of the purview of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO) under which the BB had filed the case.

Following the outcome from the federal court, the central bank has initiated the process of filing a fresh case with the state court over the biggest cyber heist in it.

The court refused to accept the case on the grounds that the petition filed over an intricately planned multi-year conspiracy along with some other issues could not be established as the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp had no presence in New York.

The defendants of the case include Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Bloomberry Resorts Corporation which is the operator of Solaire Resort & Casino, Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, Centurytex Trading, and remittance firm Philrem Service Corp and their officers.

The BFIU chief said that the central bank appealed against the New York Federal Court order and the case was under proceedings.

In 2016, hackers tried to steal close to $1 billion from the central bank’s reserve but ultimately managed to steal $101 million, including $20 million sent to a Sri Lankan account.

That transfer was reversed after a spelling error was detected.

Of the stolen money, Manila returned $15 million following an order issued by a Philippines regional court in November 2016 while the remaining $66 million is yet to be recovered.

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