The Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) will assist Bangladesh to recover the rest of Bangladesh Bank’s hacked reserve from the Philippines as both countries are its members.
The assurance came from a meeting between the visiting delegates of APG and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) officials, held at the finance ministry auditorium on Sunday.
“APG is now working with the government of the Philippines to streamline the country’s anti-money laundering policies with the group regulations,” said Abu Hena Md Razi Hasan, chief of BFIU after the meeting.
“Bangladesh Bank’s hacked reserve wouldn’t have gone outside of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), if the country had complied with APG’s anti-money laundering standards,” he added.
APG is a global body that works with its member states to combat money laundering activities.
On Bangladeshis who have deposits in Swiss Bank, the BFIU Chief said, “As Swiss Bank operates in line APG regulations, it is now providing information on deposits to Bangladesh Bank”.
As of 2018, Bangladeshi nationals’ deposits in Swiss banks has increased by 28.33 percent- Tk5,341 crore, according to the sources in the Swiss National Bank.
Back in February, 2016, security hackers shifted $81 millions of Bangladesh Bank by issuing fraudulent instructions via the SWIFT network.
The hacked funds were transferred to the Philippines and beyond through Philrem, a remittance firm of the country and through RCBC.
In August of the same year, the central bank of the Philippines fined RCBC a record of $19.17 million for its failure to prevent the money from being stolen through the bank.
Only $15 million has been recovered from a Manila junket operator, a role that involves marketing casinos to the rich.
The incident highlighted vulnerabilities in the Philippines’ banking and money-laundering monitoring systems.
Anisul Haq, minister of law and parliamentary affairs, presided at the meeting; while the director of APG’s mutual evaluation David Shannon was also present.