Govt should file case against NY Fed: Muhith

Govt should file case against NY Fed: Muhith

Dhaka, Dec 01 (Just News) : Finance minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday said the government should file a case against the New York Federal Reserve to get back the heist reserve of the Bangladesh Bank.

‘A case should now be instituted against the Fed for recovering the stolen reserve,’ he said while expressing his reaction after Rizal Commercial Banking Corp of the Philippines denied to remit a part of recovered money, worth $50 million, as demanded by the BB.

Muhith had stressed the necessity of filing a case against the Fed on a number of occasions in the past, but BB officials ruled out any legal action saying they would recover the burglarized fund with the help of the Fed.

Unknown cyber criminals attempted to steal nearly $1 billion of BB’s hard currencies in February and managed to make off with $81 million via an account at the New York Federal Reserve.

The money was transferred to four accounts– with bogus names– of a RCBC branch in Manila before ending up in two casinos.

Muhith said he was disappointed with RCBC’s turnaround because it wanted to transfer the money.

He said Bangladesh Ambassador in the Philippines, John Gomez, had an impression that RCBC would turn in what Dhaka termed ‘compensation fund.’

It is now very disappointing that RCBC changed its mind, the finance minister said.

A high-power delegation Bangladesh led by law minister Anisul Huq was now in Manila to speed up recovery of rest of the stolen $ 81 million, after Filipino authorities returned $15 million to Bangladesh’s central bank.

A Reuters report from Manila quoting RCBC lawyer Thea Daep on Tuesday said that RCBC had no reason to compensate the BB.
Instead, RCBC blamed the BB for the heist saying it happened because of its internal security lapses.

The Filipino bank alleged that BB refused to disclose the findings of an inquiry committee in September to keep the perpetrators concealed.
Muhith said they would definitely make the probe report public, but at a suitable time.

The government backed off twice in the last three months from making the much-talked-about probe report public despite mounted pressures by various quarters.

Muhith refuted a recommendation made by a parliamentary committee saying nobody has any jurisdiction to order the government to make the report public.

Former BB governor Mohammad Farashuddin was appointed to investigate into the reserve heist that rattled the central bank and hogged headlines in local and foreign media. The heist forced Atiur Rahman to step down as BB governor for his failure to immediately inform the finance ministry when the burglary took place.

The probe committee detected involvement of some of BB officials with the globally unprecedented heist from the central bank’s reverse.
It recommended departmental as well legal action under criminal procedure, against them.

The probe committee found that the systems of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and the US Fed were ‘compromised’.

It asked the government to coordinate its efforts with international agencies to recover the fund.

(Just News/ak/1632hr.)