Bangladesh seeks Philippines’ help to recover stolen money 

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 05:11pm on October 18, 2020


Ambassador of the Philippines Vicente Vivencio T. Bandillo pays a farewell visit to Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen at the State Guest House Padma on Sunday.- Press Release

Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Sunday hoped that the Philippines government would help Bangladesh recover remaining $66million stolen money of Bangladesh Bank.

Momen expressed the hope when the outgoing ambassador of the Philippines, Vicente Vivencio T Bandillo, paid him a farewell visit at the State Guest House Padma after a stint of six years and a half in Dhaka. 

At the meeting, Momen sought Philippines’ support on voluntary and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas and recovery of Bangladesh Bank money lost in a cyber heist in February 2016, according to a foreign ministry press release.

Momen thanked the Philippines government for all-out support in getting back $15 million of the $81 million stolen by the hackers.

Ambassador Bandillo assured full support to Bangladesh Bank on the money recovery issue and said that his government has initiated some measures to combat money laundering, which is a huge national problem.

The foreign minister, according to the press release, noted that the Philippines enjoy a close tie with Myanmar that the latter should leverage its influence to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

He said that to allay the fear of the Rohingyas Bangladesh has long been proposing a formation of an ASEAN led non-military civilian observer group but Myanmar has not been coming forward positively to implement this proposal.

Momen cautioned that if the Rohingya issue could not be resolved immediately, radical elements might take advantage of the displacement and regional and international security would be jeopardised.

Momen requested the Philippines to exert political pressure on Myanmar together with all ASEAN members to take back the Rohingyas.

Terming the Philippines as a global leader in the services sector particularly nursing, marine engineering and seafaring, the foreign minister said that Bangladesh is keen to sign the pending MoU on nursing education with the Philippines as early as possible and initiate exchange programmes of student and staff nurses between the two countries.

The ambassador assured the minister of doing the needful for completing the MoU soon.

Pointing out that there is a huge scope of Filipino investment in the agro-processing sector, the Bangladesh foreign minister suggested that Filipino franchise Jollibee and Potato Corner can open outlets in Bangladesh.