Court rejects RCBC’s bid in undesirable late cyber case

The New York State Supreme Court denied Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.’s application. (RCBC) to dismiss a case filed by the Central Bank of Bangladesh regarding an electronic atheist in 2016.

“In a decision and order issued… January 14, 2023, the New York State Supreme Court, Lower Trial Court, dismissed the refusal motions filed by RCBC and defendants from current and former employees,” the Yuchengkou bank said in a filing Monday.

RCBC said the decision was purely jurisdictional in nature and was in no way the result of liability on the part of the bank or the individual defendants.

RCBC said, “Without ruling on the merits, the Court asserted jurisdiction over RCBC and the individual defendants. It also exercised its discretion to find New York to be an appropriate forum for hearing the case,” RCBC said.

The bank added that the court ordered the parties involved to mediate the dispute.

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“RCBC will continue to vigorously defend the case and consider all options, including the possibility of appealing against the rejection of the rejection applications,” the bank said.

RCBC’s options include taking the case to the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state.

In a disclosure on Monday, RCBC said it had also received a notice from a Makati Provincial Trial Court that includes the summons and complaint filed by Bangladesh Bank with the New York State Supreme Court on May 27, 2020.

The Bangladesh Bank discovered in February 2016 that hackers – later said to be from North Korea – had stolen approximately $101 million from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Of this amount, $81 million was deposited in dummy accounts at RCBC’s Jupiter Street branch in Makati. Then it was withdrawn and allegedly laundered through local casinos.

Only $18 million of the money sent to the Philippines has been recovered. RCBC was then fined a record $1 billion by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas after an investigation. The senior officials were acquitted, however, only the Jupiter Branch Branch Manager was found guilty of money laundering.

Bangladesh Bank claims that RCBC was complicit in the theft and the Yuchengco-led bank responded by filing defamation charges. A court in Makati dismissed the latter case last year.

RCBC shares fell 2.65 percent on Monday to P22 apiece, down 60 centavos from Friday.

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