Published:  02:23 AM, 19 March 2023

BB likely to get back heisted money soon

BB likely to get back heisted money soon
Bangladesh Bank (BB) is likely to get back its heisted money soon which was stolen by hackers in February 2016. The Philippines government has taken up certain measures to send the money back to Bangladesh following the verdict on this matter by a federal court in the United States of America.

An official of the central bank has informed that the stolen money will be recovered shortly if a settlement outside court is reached between authorities of Bangladesh and Philippines.

The judicial department of Philippines has asked the Philippines authorities to cooperate with Bangladesh over the recovery of the heisted money. A Philippines minister has held a meeting with Bangladesh Bank's lawyer Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC over this issue.

Masud Biswas, Head of Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) told reporters, "The observation of the Federal Court's verdict has made it easy to get back the stolen money. We will get the money back soon if we can settle down the matter with Philippines out of court. However, it may take a long time if we go for resolving the issue in court."

Masud Biswas further said, "We have been making the best of our efforts to recover the heisted money since the very beginning. Some officials of Bangladesh Bank visited Philippines a couple of months ago. The authorities in Philippines have had meetings with Bangladeshi officials over this matter. Moreover, the judicial department of the Philippines government allowed us to prosecute our case without any cost." BFIU informed on 16 January 2023 that Bangladesh Bank's money from its reserve was taken away by hackers with the help of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). For this reason a state court in the USA quashed the case lodged by some RCBC officials and passed the verdict in Bangladesh's favour.The US state court ordered RCBC to resolve the matter with Bangladesh side through mediation. The US state court's verdict was issued on 13 January 2023. RCBC has filed an appeal petition against this verdict.

It may be recalled the reserve heist of Bangladesh Bank took place on 4 February 2016 through which 8 crore 10 lakh dollars were stolen. The stolen money was sent to four fake accounts of RCBC, Philippines. Bangladesh was able to recover 1.5 crore dollars later on. A number of cases in this connection were filed in Manila, Philippines which are still going on. 6 crore 60 lakh dollars have not been yet recovered.

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