Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) filed a defamation case against the Bank of Bangladesh for its hypothetical “baseless allegations” that RCBC officials were involved in the $81-million cyber heist back in 2016.
“It is public knowledge that Bangladesh Bank has embarked on a massive ploy and scheme to extort money from plaintiff RCBC by resorting to public defamation, harassment and threats geared toward destroying RCBC’s good name, reputation and image, all with the intention of getting RCBC to pay Bangladesh Bank money that RCBC does not have in its custody or possession and which it does not owe to Bangladesh Bank,” RCBC stated in its complaint.
They added that the suit was given to Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hasan, the deputy governor and head of Bangladesh Bank Financial Intelligence Unit.
Other members of the Bangladesh Bank delegation that came to the Philippines this week for meetings were also served with the suit.
Cyber hackers had stolen $81 million in February 2016 from the Bangladesh central bank’s account with the US Federal Reserve in New York. The cash was shifted to the RCBC Jupiter Branch, hurriedly withdrawn and laundered through local casinos.
In the previous month, the Central Bank of Bangladesh filed a complaint against RCBC in a New York court, seeking indemnities and the return of the $81 million stolen from its account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
In 2016, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) hit a P1-billion fine against RCBC in linking with the stolen funds.
Tai-Heng Cheng, RCBC’s lead counsel, stated the Bank of Bangladesh’s claims were baseless. He upheld that the local bank had no hand in the crime.
“Bangladesh’s suit is nothing more than a political stunt to try to shift blame from themselves to RCBC,” Cheng stated.
Last January, a Makati court sentenced former RCBC Jupiter branch bank manager Maia Deguito of eight counts of embezzlement. She appealed to her conviction.