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$81m BB heist fund

High-level delegation to visit Manila by September

By Special Correspondent
09th-Aug-2016       
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A high-level government delegation, headed by the Finance Minister, will visit Philippines next month with a view to expediting the recovery of Bangladesh Bank's (BB) $81 million stolen fund from the country.  Unknown cyber criminals tried to steal nearly $1.0 billion from BB's reserve account held with the New York Fed in February, and succeeded in transferring $81 million to four private accounts at Manila's Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). "The delegation which will also comprise the BB governor, will visit Manila by the end of September to track progress of returning the fund," a senior BB official told The New Nation yesterday, on condition of anonymity.
During their visit to Manila, they will meet high-ups of the Philippines government, seeking their help in this regard.
"We are confident of recovering the total amount as we have already secured a positive commitment from the Philippines President in this regard," said the BB official.
He further said that the Finance Minister and the governor will also meet the Philippines President seeking his cooperation in the recovery of the money.
A BB team recently visited Manila to recover the $81 million stolen fund said it was close to getting back $15 million of the money frozen by the Philippines government.
"We are in the final stages of recovering the $15 million, but for the rest we hope a (Philippines) senate hearing on the issue resumes so that we can get to know more details about the case," John Gomes, Bangladesh's Ambassador to the Philippines told Media on Friday.
The Bangladesh envoy in Manila also said that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has given a commitment that $81 million stolen by cyber criminals from the account of BB in New York Fed and funneled through bank accounts in Manila would be returned. John Gomes helped the BB team during their visit to Manila ended on Friday. The BB delegation consists of Debaprosad Debnath and Abdul Rab and its lawyer Ajmalul Hossain met the officials of Philippines Department of Justice (DoJ), the central bank and anti-money-laundering council in Manila. The government earlier formed a high-powered taskforce to expedite recover of BB's $81 million heist fund from the Philippines.
At the same time, it is also pursuing the issue evolving the diplomatic channels.

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