Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – A Philippines court has indentified that the account of Bangladesh Bank (BB) maintained with the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) of New York was hacked and ordered its central bank to release around US$15.25 million to the BB out of total stolen $81 million.
The Philippines regional trial court issued the order on Monday upon Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Filipino central bank, on conclusion of the hearing over the cyber heist, the BB officials told reporters in Dhaka.
“….it has been established that the account of BB maintained with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was hacked, through the unauthorized payment instructions by still-unknown perpetrators, resulting in the illegal transfer of $81,001,662.12 to RCBC (Rizal Commercial Banking Corp) accounts in the Philippines,” a senior BB official told BBN quoted the court order as saying.
The central banker also said the BB had earlier sent affidavit and other necessary documents to the offices concerned of the Philippines to obtain the court ruling there to get back the amount which was earlier confiscated on a court order on July 07.
The Department of Justice of the Philippines had applied to a court over there under Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Request sent by Bangladesh to complete the formalities of returning $15.25 million.
Bangladesh will get back the partial forfeited fund amounting to $4,630,000.00 and 488,280,000.00 pesos after receiving the court order by the BSP, the BB official noted.
Unknown hackers tried to steal nearly $1.0 billion from the BB account at the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York in early February, and succeeded in transferring $81 million into four accounts at the RCBC in Manila.
The cyber fraud took place on the night of February 4, sending a total of 35 transfer orders into the US Federal Reserve Bank where the central bank of Bangladesh maintains its foreign-exchange account.
Nearly $20 million of the total amount of $101 million siphoned off was recovered from Sri Lanka. The lion’s share of the money landed in the Philippines.