Manila, Philippines (BBN)-Rizal Commercial Banking Corp said Tuesday negligence on the part of the central bank of Bangladesh led to the theft of $81 million from the South Asian country’s foreign reserves, as it maintained that it could not be held liable for the incident.
The bank also criticised Bangladesh’s Ambassador to the Philippines, John Gomes, for “unfairly using media” to pressure government to recover the money, reports ABS-CBN News.
“Bangladesh Bank was the one who was negligent. We therefore urge Bangladesh Bank to be transparent to the Philippine government which has done so much to help them and show us who really stole from them,” RCBC counsel Thea Daep said in a statement.
“Consequently, RCBC has no plans to pay BB (Bangladesh Bank) any amount,” she added.
Daep also urged Bangladesh Bank to produce the results of its own investigation to determine the identities of the perpetrators.
Unidentified hackers shifted $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve to RCBC’s branch in Jupiter, Makati in February this year.
Most of the money was converted into pesos before it ended up in casinos, where the trail went cold with only $18 million recovered by Philippine authorities.
Five RCBC officials and a former treasurer have been charged by the Anti-Money Laundering Council for “willfully” ignoring suspicious activity that led to the heist.
Monetary authorities also imposed a record P1-billion fine on the bank over the incident.