Recovery of BB's stolen money becomes critical
BANGLADESH Bank needs to pay 10 per cent of $66 million or $6.6 million to US law firms for carrying out a successful legal battle against a Filipino commercial bank to recover the remaining money stolen from reserve fund. The condition was set by US firms ahead of the BB's final preparation to file cases against Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation of the Philippines in an international court by January 15.
Running a legal battle became imperative for the BB following abortive diplomatic efforts with the government of Philippines to recover the entire stolen fund since February 2016 after cyber thieves were successfully able to transfer $81m from BB's accounts in NY Federal Reserve. Manila returned only $15 million by an order of a regional Philippine court in November 2016 while the rest is said to be laundered in casinos in Manila.
Since we have failed to put pressure on Philippines government, the only other avenue which remains open is a legal settlement. Thus at this point in time there is no other foreseeable remedy to the situation. The US law firms know this and are thus free to extort any amount from us which they see fit as legal fees.
This situation created as we have been unable to get the government of Philippines to come to an out of court settlement with us. The US law firms know we have no other recourse to the situation. We can only ask the law firms for a reduced amount of fees. But they may or may not agree to this. If they become successful we would get back all but 6.6 million USD out of the original USD 101 million which was stolen. While the loss of the total amount is significant, so we could give them fees if there is no other choice.