New York court orders mediation for Bangladesh Bank cyber-heist case

The court rejects a plea by a Filipino bank for the dismissal of the case

Published : 16 Jan 2023, 06:17 PM
Updated : 16 Jan 2023, 06:17 PM

The New York Supreme Court has ordered mediation of Bangladesh’s case against Filipino Rizal Commercial Banking Corp or RCBC and other defendants over the 2016 cyber-heist of the country’s central bank.

The court passed the order on Jan 13, rejecting pleas by the RCBC and six others for the dismissal of the case, Bangladesh Bank spokesman Mezbaul Haque said after getting a copy of the order.

The defendants have been given 20 working days for the mediation, ordering them to report back within Feb 2.

Cozen O’Connor, the US law firm appointed by Bangladesh Bank, will review the order for mediation, Mezbaul said.

The lawsuit was connected to the Bangladesh Bank’s long-running efforts to recover part of the $81 million stolen by hackers.

The funds flowed through the Philippine financial system before disappearing in local casinos, where they were used to buy gaming chips that were played in junket rooms.

The Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc and the RCBC were among the defendants named in the complaint filed in 2020 with the Manhattan Southern District Court.

Bangladesh Bank accused at least 20 defendants of “conversion/theft/ misappropriation; aiding and abetting the same; conspiracy to commit the same; fraud (against RCBC); aiding and abetting and conspiracy to commit fraud; conspiracy to commit trespass against chattels; unjust enrichment; and return of money received.”

The court dismissed the complaint in 2022 for lack of jurisdiction.

Mezbaul said the Bangladesh Bank later filed the case with a court that has jurisdiction to hear it.