Bangladesh to sue Manila bank over $81 million cyber-heist

FILE PHOTO: Commuters pass by the front of the Bangladesh central bank building in Dhaka REUTERS

DHAKA, Feb 7, (Agencies): Bangladesh’s central bank will file a lawsuit against a Philippines bank for its role in one of the world’s biggest cyber-heists two years ago, a deputy governor said on Wednesday. Unidentified hackers stole $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 at Manila based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines. “Bangladesh Bank will file a lawsuit in a New York court within two to three months in connection with the reserve theft,” central bank deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan told Reuters.

“We are in talks with the Federal Reserve Bank and SWIFT to join us as they are also victims,” he added. For its part, RCBC said the cyber heist was an inside job and Bangladesh Bank was engaging in a cover-up by maligning it. “Bangladesh Bank should stop making RCBC its scapegoat,” the Philippine bank said in a statement. “RCBC has revealed everything it legally could to the Senate and to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” referring to the Philippine central bank.

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