January 27, 2023, 9:21 pm

Staff Correspondent

2023-01-16 20:37:44 BdST

BB Reserve heist RCBC’s appeal against Bangladesh in NY court dismissed

The New York Supreme Court has rejected an appeal of motion to dismiss a lawsuit that was previously filed by the Bangladesh Bank over 2016 reserve heist.

The Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and other six defendants had filed this motion.

A motion to dismiss is a formal request to a court seeking dismissal of a case. The New York Supreme Court’s decision in this regard came on January 13.

Bangladesh Bank Executive Director and Spokesperson Md Mezbaul Haque confirmed this adding that now there is no jurisdictional obstacle to move forward with the lawsuit against the defendants in New York Supreme Court.

In 2022, a court in the Philippines dismissed a defamation case filed by the RCBC against the Bangladesh Bank. The then central bank spokesperson Md Serajul Islam had told The Business Post that the particular case was dismissed on June 30, 2022.

The Filipino court said it was out of its jurisdiction to handle the case against the Bangladesh Bank, he added.

On February 5, 2016, hackers stole $101 million from the Bangladesh Bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using fake orders through the SWIFT payment system.

Of the amount, $81 million was transferred to four RCBC accounts in Manila and the rest to a bank in Sri Lanka. The $81 million portion flowed through the Filipino financial system before disappearing in local casinos where it was used to buy gaming chips played in junket rooms.

The Bangladesh Bank then filed a lawsuit with the US District Court in Manhattan in 2019, accusing the RCBC of being involved in a massive conspiracy to steal the money and hoping to recover it.

In response, the RCBC filed the defamation suit against the Bangladesh Bank with a local Filipino court, demanding $1.9 million in compensation.

The court gave its verdict in favour of the RCBC in 2021, but Bangladesh appealed for a review. Following the review, the Filipino court dismissed the defamation case.

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