Aircraft leasor sues BNP Paribas over $2m cash transfer
15 Dec 2020

The Dublin branch of French bank BNP Paribas is being sued for allegedly negligently transferring $1.9m (€1.57m) belonging to an aircraft leasing company to a bank account in Hong Kong which was almost entirely cleaned out before the alleged fraud became known.

Irish registered CMIG Aircraft Leasing Fourteen Ireland Ltd, a subsidiary of Chinese international aircraft leasing group CMIG Aviation, headquartered in Shanghai, is suing the bank’s branch in George’s Dock, IFSC, Dublin. BNP denies negligence and breach of duty.

It is claimed, in Commercial Court proceedings, that CMIG Ireland has maintained an account since 2018 with BNP in Dublin solely for the purpose of receiving payments from the lessees of aircraft.

CMIG director Zheng Huang said in an affidavit that in July 2019, CMIG communicated its concerns to BNP about a number of attempted transactions on its account, none of which had been made by it.

Due to an apparent cyberattack on CMIG the suspicious instructions giving rise to the attempted transaction came from the email of a former CMIG employee, he said. A few weeks earlier the female employee had notified BNP Dublin she was no longer working for CMIG and would no longer be the point of contact.

Two unauthorised transfers on July 22 and 23, 2019 were made by the defendant to a HSBC account in Hong Kong following instructions from the email account of the former employee, Mr Huang said. BNP did not operate the CMIG account in accordance with a protocol for payment instructions, he said.

The transfers were made to the account of a company called New Vape Electrical Material Co Ltd.

By Tim Healy,, 15 December 2020


RiskScreen: Eliminating Financial Crime with Smart Technology

Count this content towards your CPD minutes, by signing up to our CPD Wallet