Philippines will need new laws to return BB heist money

Philippines will need new laws to return BB heist money

A security guard stands guard outside a branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in Paranaque city, Metro Manila, Philippines August 2, 2016Reuters

The Philippines finance minister said their government will enact new laws to facilitate the return of $65m of the money stolen from Bangladesh Bank.

Philippines Finance Minister Carlos Dominguez says the remainder of the Bangladesh Bank cyber heist money will be returned after new laws have been enacted to facilitate it.

The finance minister was responding to queries by Bangladeshi media at the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Yokohama, Japan on Sunday.

“Your [Bangladesh] legal procedure is rather limited in its ability to recover of the money. Still, we have returned $15m of the money that our central bank was able to seize. The $65m that is still missing will be returned after we [Philippines] introduce a new law to track and recover the funds.”

In response to his Philippines counterpart, Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the Philippines central bank had been advocating for the return of the money but the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, which received the money, has been reluctant in returning the stolen funds.

Minister Muhith said: “A bank is run by money that is entrusted to it. But now, Rizal Bank’s refusal to return the money appears to be an insult to the stakeholders’ trust.”

On February 4, 2016, hackers attempted to steal $101 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account with Federal Reserve Bank in New York which was noticed on February 6. A $20m transaction to Sri Lanka was recovered, but the bulk of the heist – $81m – was sent to the Philippines.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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