Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh has accepted US$15.25 million of its central bank’s reserve heist money from the Philippines, a top central banker told BBN on Saturday.
Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Philippines Major-General (Retd.) John Gomes received the fund in cash on behalf of the government from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of the Philippines on Friday, Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hassan, Senior Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB), said.
A two-member team, headed by Debaprosad Debnath, general manager of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligent Unit (BFIU) of the central bank, now stay in Manila, was attended while handed over the fund, according to the deputy governor.
The received fund will be deposited with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York immediately through a multination bank and Bangladesh embassy in the Philippines for transferring the fund into the BB’s account.
“We’re hopeful about transferring the fund into BB’s foreign exchange reserve account from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York the within the next week,” Mr. Razee Hassan explained.
Earlier on September 19 last, a court ordered the Philippine central bank to remit around US$15.25 million to Bangladesh Bank, out of the 81 million dollars stolen into that country from BB foreign reserves.
“A Manila court declared Bangladesh as the rightful owner of the funds, totalling $15.25 million,” a report from the Philippines capital said earlier quoting chief state counsel of the Philippines’ Department of Justice Ricardo Paras III as saying.
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.