POST TIME: 4 December, 2019 03:29:37 AM
Give info on perpetrators involved in BB heist
Bangladesh asks Philippines

Give info on perpetrators involved in BB heist

Bangladesh has sought specific information from the Philippines about the cyber heist at Bangladesh Bank (BB) reserve and identities of the perpetrators involved in the stealing.

The country also asked the Philippines to give US$ 20 million imposed on Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) as fine in connection with the heist.

Secretary (Asia and Pacific) of Foreign Ministry Masud Bin Momen Masud raised the issues at the second Foreign Office Consultation between the two countries held in the capital yesterday.

Masud led the delegation of Bangladesh while Assistant Secretary, office of Asia and Pacific Affairs, Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs Meynardo LB. Montealegre led their delegation.

“We asked them to provide identities of the perpetrators involved in the stealing and requested them to give us at least that fined money as it was imposed in connection with the issue (BB heist)”, Momen said.

“Philippines have assured us of providing information by obtaining permission from their Department of Justice,” Momen said.

Masud said, “Lawsuits are going on in a number of countries like Philippines, Bangladesh and USA. We have sought cooperation of them regarding the identities of some of the perpetrators. They have also assured us to share some of the information about financial matters of the heist.”

In reply to a query he said, “The timeframe of sharing the information has not been discussed. Their department of justice possesses the information. They have pledged to share the information with the permission of their department of justice.”

“We hope if the financial transaction and identity of the perpetrators are settled, it would be helpful for Bangladesh to submit the charge sheets for a law suit filed here,” he added.

In reply to a query of brining back the heist money from BB reserve, he said, “Discussion is on. It cannot be said that we would get back the money tomorrow or day after tomorrow. We are continuing our efforts for an amicable solution of the issue. They have admitted that it would be desirable to settle matter amicably.”

On February 4, 2016, hackers broke into BB's systems and generated 70 fake payment orders for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to draw about $1.94 billion.

Masud further said, “Some money has been laundered. It would take much time for investigation which is going on in their country. We are moving step-by-step.”

About the legal process, he said, “Legal process is a time-consuming matter. There is no particular timeframe that it would be settled within certain years.”

Regarding the return of money, he said, “Philippines government has already fined $20 million against their RCBC bank for violating their own banking laws. We have told them the fined money can be given to Bangladesh. But they said Bangladesh has not direct connection with it.”

Terming cyber-heist as an emerging phenomenon, Masud told the representative of Philippines that Bangladesh and Philippines can be a model if both the countries can resolve the BB heist issue amicably. “Philippines said it’s a good idea,” he added.

Masud also said they have a fruitful discussion on an array of areas including Rohingya crisis.

He said, “Philippines are an ASEAN country. So they have some compulsions. We have requested them to support us with their experiences on the reconciliation process of Moro National Liberation Front to resolve Rohingya crisis.”

“We have told them to empower their ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA) Centre for trust building and creating conducive environment for the repatriation process. They have assured us that they would assist us,” he added.