A two-member Bangladesh Bank team arrived in Manila on Monday to work on moving back $15.25 million of the total $81 million stolen from its account in the New York Federal Reserve in February and sent to the Philippines.
‘The team will work on a process to bring back $15.25 million stolen money,’ said BB deputy governor Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hassan on Tuesday, reports Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha.
‘A Manila court has already cleared the execution suit and asked the authorities concerned to complete the whole procedures of sending back the money within the next 30 days,’ Razee said adding, ‘We are expecting that the whole process will be completed very soon and the money will be sent back this month.’
A Philippine court in September adjudged that Bangladesh Bank was the rightful owner of around $15 million surrendered by casino boss Kim Wong and his Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, adds Reuters.
Wong, who returned $4.63 million and 488.28 million pesos ($10.05 million) to Philippine authorities from the millions of dollars he took from two Chinese high-rollers, has denied any role in one of the world’s biggest cyber heists.
The $15 million recovered from the total heisted is now secure in the vaults of the Philippine central bank, said John Gomes, Bangladesh’s ambassador to the Philippines, who attended a count of the money last week.
‘The writ of execution that the money be handed back to Bangladesh has already been done by the court,’ Gomes said. ‘The good thing is now that the process on this $15 million is more or less completed, we will go for the rest.’
In the Philippine capital, the central bank, Bangko Sentral, directed Reuters to the Anti-Money Laundering Council, which, in turn, deflected the query to the department of justice.
Ricardo V Paras, the Philippine justice department official who represented the Bangladesh government in court, did not return telephone calls to seek comment.
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