The Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has hired top US law firm Quinn Emanuel to defend the lawsuit filed by Bangladesh Bank with a New York court over the cyber heist of its reserves in which $81 million was stolen nearly three years ago.
The Philippine bank revealed this in a stock exchange filing on Friday.
The Bangladesh Bank filed a lawsuit against the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) to chase after the $81-million cyber heist, nearly three years after the incident.
Authorities from Dhaka filed the case before the Southern District Court of New York on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, as they look to chase after the full amount.
Philippine authorities have only recovered and returned $15 million so far.
RCBC said they will not let Bangladesh have it easy, noting that they hired the US unit of the global law firm Quinn Emanuel as defense counsel.
“This is nothing more than a thinly veiled PR campaign disguised as a lawsuit. Based on what we have heard this suit is completely baseless. If the Bank of Bangladesh was serious about recovering the money, they would have pursued their claims three years ago and not wait until days before the statute of limitations,” said lead attorney Tai-Heng Cheng.
The Yuchengco-owned bank maintained that it was Bangladesh’s fault, not theirs.
“A review of the facts shows that Bangladesh Bank’s errors, omissions, and lapses in security protocols are the cause of its loss. We believe it is telling that they have concealed information from their own investigation and despite admitting their own culpability, continue to try to blame others,” he added.
Bangladesh had been threatening to sue RCBC for years, but it only came true weeks after the bank’s branch manager who opened the fake accounts used for the wire transfers was convicted of money laundering by a Manila court.