4 NY law firms show interest to deal BB heist reserve legal fight

Staff Correspondent | Published at 12:05am on August 06, 2018

Four New York-based law firms have shown interest to assist Bangladesh Bank in its planned legal fight for recovering the BB reserves stolen and laundered in the Philippines.
One firm will be appointed after reviewing all the proposals, financial institutions secretary Eunusur Rahman told New Age on Sunday.
The BB is preparing to file cases against New York Federal Reserve and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp by January next year to recover the rest $66 million of the country’s stolen reserve fund, said Eunusur, also the chief of the taskforce on recovering the stolen reserve fund.
The taskforce at a meeting on Sunday discussed update of the fund recovery efforts launched after detection of heist of $81 million from the BB account with the NY Federal Reserve in February, 2016.
The fund was channelled out to casinos in Manila through Rizal Commercial Banking Corp of the Philippines.
Manila returned only $15 million by an order of a regional Philippine court in November, 2016.
Eunusur, who did not disclose the names of the interested law firms for technical reasons, said process at the regional Philippine court was on to recover another $24 million.
‘It is not certain when the process will complete,’ he said, adding that the deadline for filing cases against the NY Federal Reserve and
the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp in any civil court would expire in February next.
In May, finance minister AMA Muhuth while attending annual general meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Manila proposed out-of-court settlement for the recovery of the rest $66 million.
But Manila gave lukewarm response to the proposal, according to a report by Manila-based daily Business World.
Earlier, RCBC also warned of legal action, claiming that the cyber heist was an ‘inside job’ and that the Philippine bank was being used as a scapegoat to hide the culprits.
RCBC has had it and would consider a lawsuit against Bangladesh Central Bank officials for claiming that the bank had a hand in the $81 million cyber-heist, according to a statement by the Philippine bank.