RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) received new summons for a case filed against the lender over the $81-million Bangladesh Bank heist in 2016.
RCBC said in a filing with the local bourse on Tuesday that it received a notice from the Regional Trial Court of Makati regarding the case filed against it by Bangladesh Bank.
“The case was filed before the Supreme Court of the State of New York in May [27,] 2020,” the bank said in a filing.
This followed the decision of the Federal Court of New York to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Bangladesh Bank on the 2016 incident.
The dismissed case was filed by Bangladesh Bank to seek compensation for the $81 million it allegedly lost to North Korean hackers who sent multiple remittance orders out of the central bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
These funds were allegedly remitted to accounts in RCBC and were also said to have been channeled into local casinos through gambling.
“The complaint in the state court is for: conversion/theft/misappropriation; aiding and abetting the same; conspiracy to commit the same; fraud (against RCBC); aiding and abetting and conspiracy to commit fraud; conspiracy to commit trespass against chattels; unjust enrichment; and return of money received,” RCBC said.
The bank said respondents for the case include Maia Santos Deguito, who is the former manager of RCBC’s Jupiter branch where the $81 million from the account of Bangladesh Bank was transacted under fictitious names.
Former RCBC President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and incumbent House of Investments President and CEO Lorenzo V. Tan is also included in the summons, together with other former bank employees and officials such as Ismael S. Reyes, Angela Ruth S. Torres, Raul Victor B. Tan, Nestor O. Pineda, and Brigitte R. Capina.
Other defendants are Bloomberry Resorts & Hotels, Inc. as well as its unit, Solaire Resorts & Casino. Also included are Eastern Hawaii Leisure Co. Ltd. and Midas Hotel & Casino.
Philrem Service Corp. and its owners, Salud Bautista and Michael Bautista, are also included in the summons. Centurytex Trading and William So Go, which were the names used for the accounts where some funds from Bangladesh Bank were transferred, are also defendants.
RCBC’s net profit slumped 52% to P893 million in the third quarter from P1.851 billion the previous year. This caused its nine-month income to decline 11% to P4 billion from P4.513 billion as it set aside higher loan provisions.
The bank’s shares closed at P18 apiece on Tuesday, down by 50 centavos or by 2.7% from its previous finish. — L.W.T. Noble