Bangladesh sues RCBC, Bloomberry Resorts anew for 2016 bank heist

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) – Bangladesh authorities have renewed their bid to recover $81 million lost in a bank heist four years ago, filing a fresh civil case against 17 Philippine entities last week.

Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, the company behind Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila, told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday that the Bangladesh central bank filed a fresh case against its subsidiary Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc. and 16 others before a New York State Court.

The civil complaint charges the companies for conversion, theft, or misappropriation and aiding and abetting such acts. Dhaka also accused these firms of conspiracy to commit fraud, trespass against chattels, and their "unjust enrichment," the listed firm said.

Bloomberry's disclosure also stated that the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation is being charged for fraud.

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

In March, a United States District Court dismissed conspiracy charges against RCBC and local casinos for their supposed violation of the American law Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. RCBC, as well as Eastern Hawaii Leisure Company, Ltd., Centurytex Trading, and remittance firm Philrem Service Corp. and their officers have been cleared of the charges.

The ruling on the previous case has been appealed by Bangladesh before the US Circuit Court of Appeals, Bloomberry said.

RELATED: RCBC sues Bangladesh bank for damage to reputation over $81-M heist

The cases stemmed from the February 2016 heist where thieves tapped into the system of the US Federal Reserve in New York and authorized multiple fund transfers from the Bangladesh Bank's account to a number of fake bank accounts under RCBC. The funds were wired during a long weekend, which left no time for regulators to block the transactions. The funds were withdrawn, converted into pesos and eventually into poker chips and gambled in casino tables here, where the money trail vanished.

Of the amount, only $17 million has been recovered. The case is the biggest money laundering incident involving the Philippines, which prompted lawmakers to require casinos to regularly report big-ticket and suspicious transactions to authorities.

Bloomberry previously said the Bangladesh Bank is relying on these court cases to collect the amount it supposedly lost to North Korean hackers.