Bangladesh to File Suit Against Philippines Bank over $81M Cyber Heist

Bangladesh’s central bank will file a lawsuit against a Philippines bank for its role in one of the world’s biggest cyber-heists two years ago, a deputy governor said on Wednesday.

Unidentified hackers stole $81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Fed in February 2016, using fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system.

The money was sent to accounts at Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.

“Bangladesh Bank will file a lawsuit in a New York court within two to three months in connection with the reserve theft,” central bank deputy governor Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan told Reuters.

“We are in talks with the Federal Reserve Bank and SWIFT to join us as they are also victims,” he added.

For its part, RCBC said the cyber heist was an inside job and Bangladesh Bank was engaging in a cover-up by maligning it.

“Bangladesh Bank should stop making RCBC its scapegoat,” the Philippine bank said in a statement. “RCBC has revealed everything it legally could to the Senate and to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” referring to the Philippine central bank.

Reuters reported in December that Bangladesh Bank had asked the New York Fed to join a lawsuit it was considering filing against Manila-based RCBC seeking damages.

After two years, there is no word on who was responsible and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator.

The Philippine central bank fined RCBC a record one billion pesos ($20 million) in 2016 for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen money through it.

RCBC has blamed rogue employees and Philippine prosecutors have filed money laundering charges against a former RCBC bank manager and four people who owned the bank accounts where the funds were sent, but are not identifiable since the accounts were in fake names. They are the only people to be formally cited anywhere in the world in association with the crime.

RCBC has said it would not pay any compensation to Bangladesh Bank and the Dhaka bank bore responsibility for the theft since it was negligent.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; editing by Clarence Fernandez)


  • Heist of $81M from Bangladesh Bank Blamed on ‘State-Sponsored Attack’
  • Some Bangladesh Bank Insiders Helped Hackers Steal $81M: Investigator
  • Update: Hackers Steal $31M from Russian Central & Commercial Banks
  • Bank of England Beefs Up Cyber Resilience Tests for UK Banks After Tesco Hack
  • Tesco Reveals $3M Was Stolen from 9,000 Customers in Recent Cyber Bank Theft
  • Tesco Bank’s Cyber Attack Investigated by UK’s National Crime Agency
  • Cyber Criminals Steal Money from Nearly 20,000 Customers of UK’s Tesco Bank
  • U.S. Seeks Tougher Cybersecurity Standards for Banks
  • UK Banks Reluctant to Report Extent of Relentless Cyber Attacks
  • SWIFT Expects Cyber Attacks on Banks to Increase
  • New York Proposes ‘Flexible’ Cybersecurity Regulation for Insurers, Banks
  • EU Members Should Run Stress Tests for Banks’ Cyber Risks: EU Banking Chief
  • Cyber Attacks on Financial Firms Up; Ransomware Attacks Way Up: Beazley
  • UK Banks Ordered to Update Cyber Security After $81M Bangladesh Bank Heist
  • Urgent Action Needed to Tackle Systemic Threat of Cyber Risk: Marsh & TheCityUK
  • Bank of England Faces ‘Advanced, Persistent & Evolving’ Cyber Threats
  • Malware Used to Steal $80M-Plus in Bangladesh Cyber Bank Heist: Officials
  • Cyber Attacks On Banks More Serious Than Public Realizes

Copyright 2018 Reuters. Click for restrictions.