Philippine court dismisses case against Bangladesh CB

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Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Manolo B. Jara, Correspondent

A regional court in Metro Manila dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, the defamation suit filed by a local bank against the Bank of Bangladesh in connection with the $81 million cyber heist in 2016.

In an order, the Makati Regional Court in Metro Manila dismissed the suit and demand for damages sought by the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC).

The court said that it has no authority over the defendant, Bank of Bangladesh which it described as “a foreign public corporation not doing business in the Philippines.”

The ruling explained that there was no provision both in the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure and the 2019 Rules of Procedure for summoning Bangladesh Bank.

“The foregoing discussion inescapably led to the conclusion that the court has no jurisdiction over the defendant (Bank of Bangladesh) nor will it ever have the provision of sending the summons thereof,” the court said.

RCBC and its sales director filed the defamation suit in 2019 accusing the Bank of Bangladesh of a “massive scheme to extort money from the RCBC by resorting to public defamation, harassment, and geared towards destroying RCBC’s good name, reputation, and image.”

Earlier, the Bank of Bangladesh filed a prior case to recover $81 million in stolen funds which were allegedly lost to North Korean hackers. Some of the funds were allowed to be transmitted via correspondent banks in New York before they wind up in the RCBC.

The funds were withdrawn and later disappeared.

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