RCBC welcomes Bangladesh Bank rap over $81 million heist

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2019 05:29 PM

MANILA - The Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) on Wednesday said it welcomes the complaint the Bangladesh Bank will reportedly lodge against it over a 2016 heist that funneled some $81-million in stolen funds through one of its Makati branches. 

The Philippines' 10th largest bank said it was "a victim of what was started in Bangladesh by still unnamed persons." 

"RCBC is ready to face Bangladesh Bank (BB) in court. In fact, RCBC has engaged a top tier NY (New York) law firm to handle RCBC’s defense," it said in a statement. 

RCBC rued that it had provided Philippine Senate hearings all information allowed by local laws, but the Bangladesh Bank refused to "release its full and complete findings almost three years after the fact."

"We hope BB can be as transparent and stop blaming everybody but itself. The complaint will allow us to finally get the information we, and the Philippine government, have been asking BB to provide," the lender said in a statement.

Unidentified hackers transferred some $81-million to fictitious accounts in RCBC after they stole the amount from Bangladesh Bank's account with the New York Federal Reserve in 2016. 

The money was later shifted to casino accounts and Bangladeshi authorities have recovered at least $15 million.

RCBC was fined a record P1 billion by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas over the heist.

Maia Santos Deguito, manager of the branch where the accounts were funneled into, was convicted of money laundering in connection with the caper. She was sentenced to 4 to 7 years in prison for each of the 8 counts and was fined a total of $109 million.