Manila Bank accuses Bangladesh Bank for heist

Reported by: |Updated: December 14, 2017

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC), the Philippines bank through which $81 million was stolen from Bangladesh’s central bank in February 2016 says Bangladesh Bank covered up its negligence. It said the regulator should refrain from making it a scapegoat. The bank was responding to comments made by Bangladesh finance miister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith that he wanted to wipe-out the Manila-based bank. Earlier, Bangladesh Bank had asked the New York Federal Reserve to join a lawsuit it was considering filing against RCBC seeking damages. A statement issued by RCBC said it has revealed everything it legally could to the Philippine Senate and its regulator, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Bangladesh Bank, however, has concealed everything it could. The contrast is telling, it said. Unidentified hackers had stolen $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Fed in February 2016, using fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system. The money was sent to accounts RCBC accounts in Manila and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines. Nearly two years later, there is no word on who was responsible, and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator.