Bangladesh bank heist: Bloombery resorts sued in bid to recover $81 million stolen

Transferred funds were converted into casino chips

Philippines casino operator for Solaire Resort and Casino, Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, on Monday informed the Philippine Stock Exchange that the Bangladesh central bank has filed a new case against its subsidiary Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc. and 16 others before a New York State Court. 

In 2016, hackers tapped the system of the US Federal Reserve in New York and performed multiple bank transfers from the Bangladesh bank account amounting to US $81 million.

This is in relation to the US $81 million bank heist in 2016 where hackers tapped the system of the US Federal Reserve in New York and performed multiple bank transfers from the Bangladesh bank account to several accounts under the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). The transfers were done on a long weekend, preventing regulators to trace and block the transactions immediately. The transferred funds were apparently converted into casino chips and used to play in several of the casinos in the country. 

The civil complaint filed anew by the Bangladesh central bank, charges the 17 companies for conversion, theft, or misappropriation and aiding and abetting such acts. Accusations also include conspiracy to commit fraud, trespass against chattels, and their “unjust enrichment.” 

RCBC is also being charged anew as per the disclosure of Bloomberry 

The company added, "Summons has not been served here. BRHI will vigorously defend itself against these baseless charges.” 

A US District Court in March dismissed the conspiracy charges against RCBC and other local casinos for their supposed violation of the American Law Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. RCBC, Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, Ltd, Centurytex Trading and Philrem Service Corp have been cleared of the charges as well as its officers.  

This ruling has been appealed by Bangladesh central bank before the US Circuit Court of Appeals, Bloomberry further added.  

Out of the US$81 million, only US$17 million has been recovered, making this the biggest money laundering case in the Philippines. This incident encouraged lawmakers to require all casinos to report large money transactions to local authorities.  

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