Bangladesh Bank has deposited around $15 million of stolen money, which was handed over by the Philippines authorities, with the central bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
BB officials said that around $10 million was deposited with the New York Fed on Monday and $5 million on Tuesday from Standard Chartered Bank in Manila.
Bangladesh officials deposited the money — in dollar and pesos — with StanChart Philippines after Bangladesh ambassador to Philippines John Gomes along with a BB team received the money from Philippines authorities on Friday.
Philippines authorities could recover $15 million so far out of $81 million that were stolen from the BB’s account with the NY Fed and went to the banking channel of Philippines in February.
On November 7, a BB delegation headed by Debprosad Debnath, general manager of the bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit, went to Manila to work on moving back the $15 million.
Debnath told New Age on Tuesday that the recovered $15 million was electronically transferred to the NY Fed.
A BB official said that a delegation team, led by law justice and parliamentary affairs minister Anisul Huq, would go to Philippines this month and hoped that the process of recovering the rest of heisted money would be accelerated further.
BB governor Fazle Kabir, attorney general Mahbubey Alam and other senior government officials are included with the delegation team.
The delegation team will meet the high-powered committee of Philippines government from November 28. The meeting will continue for four days in a row.
BB deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd Razee Hassan told reporters on Sunday that the central bank was now making all sorts of efforts to recover the whole stolen money.
He expected to get back another $30 million confiscated by the Philippines authorities, he said.
In October, the BB filed an ‘execution suit’ with the authorities in Manila to send back the recovered $15 million. The Manila court cleared the ‘execution suit’ and asked the authorities concerned to complete the whole procedures of sending back the money within the shortest possible time.
In September, the Philippines National Capital Judicial Region asked the country’s central bank — Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas — to send back the money as it was adjudged that Bangladesh Bank was the rightful owner of around $15 million surrendered by casino boss Kim Wong and his Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company.
The money kept in the vault of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is released in favour of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the BB official said.
On August 26, the Department of Justice of Philippines applied to a court there under Mutual Legal Assistance Request sent by Bangladesh to complete the formalities of returning the $15 million.
BB sent affidavit and other necessary documents to the offices concerned of the Philippines for applying to a court of the Philippines within a scheduled time from August 16 to 30 to bring back the money.
Hackers stole $101 million from Bangladesh’s account at the New York Fed in February.
Of the amount, $81 million was transferred to four accounts at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp in Manila and another $20 million to a bank in Sri Lanka. But the transfer of $20 million to Sri Lanka was failed because of a spelling error by the hackers.
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