Law minister leads team to Manila Saturday

Dhaka,  Mon,  05 December 2016
Published : 24 Nov 2016, 00:32:12 | Updated : 24 Nov 2016, 18:11:36

Law minister leads team to Manila Saturday

Retrieving stolen reserves
Law minister leads team to Manila Saturday
Siddique Islam
A high-powered delegation headed by Law Minister Anisul Huq is scheduled to leave for Manila on Saturday to expedite efforts with the Philippines to retrieve the remaining $65.75 million of Bangladesh's stolen foreign-exchange reserves.

During the November 28-30 visit, the five-member delegation is scheduled to meet with senior officials concerned, including Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and the governor of the Philippines central bank for their cooperation in bringing back the entire stolen money, a senior official concerned told the FE on Wednesday.

"The delegation would try to bring back the stolen money through strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries," he said.

Other members of the delegation are Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance Dr. Abdur Razzak, Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Fazle Kabir, Attorney-General Mahbubey Alam and Secretary of the Bank and Financial Institutions Division Eunusur Rahman.

The total amount so far recovered stood at $35.25 million after receiving $15.25 million from the Philippines middle of the current month.

The Filipino president earlier had promised to return the entire money stolen from the Bangladesh Bank's reserve account with the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

Hackers tried to steal nearly $1.0 billion from the BB account at the Fed early February this calendar year, and succeeded in digitally burgling out $81 million into four accounts at RCBC (Rizal Commercial Banking Corp) in Manila in what is dubbed biggest such cyber heist.

The cyber fraud took place on the night of February 04, sending a total of 35 transfer orders into the US Federal Reserve Bank where the BB maintains its foreign-exchange account.

Of the 35 transfer orders placed, 30 were blocked. Four transfers to the Philippine bank for a total of $81 million went through. The rest $20 million transferred to a Sri Lankan non-government organisation was reversed because the hackers mis-spelled the name of the entity.

Nearly $20 million of the total amount of $101 million siphoned off was recovered from Sri Lanka shortly after the trans-national cyber-heist.

siddique.islam@gmail.com
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