RCBC official lashes out at Bangladesh Bank


Posted at Dec 12 2017 02:37 AM

A Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) official on Monday lashed out at Bangladesh Bank regarding the $81-million heist in 2016.

"BB (Bangladesh Bank) is definitely partly to blame for the heist. Its refusal to be transparent is a continuing cover-up and a disservice to global efforts to combat cybercrime," Atty. George Dela Cuesta alleged in a statement.

Dela Cuesta, who holds the position of first vice-senior president and head of legal affairs at RCBC, asked BB to stop making the Philippine bank a "scapegoat."

"RCBC has revealed everything it legally could to the Senate and its regulator, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; BB, however, has concealed everything it could. The contrast is telling," he said.

His statement came on the heels of a Reuters report that the Bangladesh Bank is considering a civil suit against them and a finance minister wants to "wipe out" the Philippine bank that was used to channel $81 million stolen from the Bangladeshi central bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year.

Dela Cuesta said Bangladesh' previous finance minister has described the heist as an "inside job."

"If it was stolen with alleged connivance of BB's own people, why should RCBC be the one to return the money?" he said.

Dela Cuesta also raised questions on the incident.

"Is this the reason it is using media aggressively to divert blame and protect those its own finance minister said were involved?" the RCBC official asked.

In the statement, RCBC said it admitted its mistake in the incident.

"RCBC was a beneficiary bank, who received the funds in good faith. Unfortunately, its Jupiter branch, where the $81 million was deposited, was headed by a rogue branch manager who eventually was fired and charged in court and is currently being prosecuted to the fullest extent by RCBC," the statement added.

Dela Cuesta also said the Bangladesh government panel refused to release its findings on the heist

"Is there something really worth hiding because it is so damning?" he said.