Government Policy

Muhith calls RCBC decision on heist money unethical

Finance Minister AMA Muhith today called "not ethical" the Philippines Rizal Bank (RCBC) stance against returning the stolen money, expecting the Philippines government and central bank there to take steps to repatriate the amount.

"Ethically it is not a sound decision (of RCBC) . . . from ethical point of view it is not right . . . not appropriate," he told newsmen at the Bangladesh Secretariat.

Muhith also rejected a RCBC demand seeking disclosure of Bangladesh government's investigation report on the reserve heist saying "it will be published in time".

The finance minister's comments came a day after the Philippines commercial bank said it had "no reason to compensate Bangladesh Bank", a stance indicating its stance against repatriating the heist money.

A RCBC lawyer yesterday told international media that Bangladesh Bank was "negligent" in regard to the heist as the initial security breach was "its (BBs) own fault".

Muhith, however, said after the RCBC announcement, Bangladesh would now wait for the Philippines government and central bank's steps in this regard.

He said Bangladesh could now also file a case against Federal Reserve System of the United States with international court as they released the money despite having a doubt about it.

"We should file a case against Fed, when we should file the case, I am not sure," he said adding that so far no decision was taken to sue the Fed the stolen money was being recovered normally.

"RCBC (earlier) cooperated us for that I thanked them," he said.

Hackers had stolen a total $101 million from Bangladesh's account at the New York Fed in February.

Of the amount, $81 million was transferred to four accounts at RCBC in Manila and another $20 million to a bank in Sri Lanka but their effort to transfer of $20 million to Sri Lanka was failed because of a spelling error by the hackers.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)