Banking in the DR.

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Sosuatrecker

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Nearly one month ago on March 16, I received an email from Banco BHD asking whether I had made an internet transfer. Upon seeing the email, I immediately responded that I had not made any transfer. Another account holder at Banco BHD apparently had gone into my account on the internet and transferred almost all of the money out of the account into his account. I have lost $16,800 of the $17,000 in the account. The bank called me seconds after receiving my response and I told them to not give out the money to this individual. The bank had already given the money to this person at another branch in the Dominican Republic, without waiting for my response. This individual, Mr. Juan Miesa, was suspiciously waiting in a BHD bank lobby demanding the money that had just been transferred into his account from my account. It is obvious to me that this is an inside job, as someone waited for two transfers to occur and then removed almost all of the money. Once the money had arrived, it was immediately taken out of my account. We were never telephoned and fortunately we saw the email approximately 40 minutes after it was sent. I have been told that it is standard practice to call. Dominicans tell me that if they sign a check for RD$ 10,000 or more, the bank always calls before cashing the check. Nevertheless, Banco BHD handed out RD$630,000 and only checked after the fact! As far as I know, no bank officer was required to sign off on this transaction. The money was apparently handed over in cash in a Banco BHD lobby eventhough it has just arrived in the account with no precautions taken and without waiting for my email response.

And how has Banco BHD acted in this manner? They have been as uncooperative with me as they were cooperative with the thief. Banco BHD has been rude and unprofessional since the very beginning. They also have demonstrated a hostile attitude toward foreigners. The Cabarete branch manager made insulting comments about foreigners in front of me and my husband, who understands Spanish, in a phone call to the main office. My husband asked her what she had against foreignors, and her response was that they are ?exigentes? or in English ?demanding?. The head of security of the Bank has been rude and egotistical on the phone from the very beginning. He has attempted to bully us and has hung up on the phone while we were talking to him. It then took 3 phone calls before he would pick up the phone, when we called him back. He has consistently stated that someone hacked into our computer and took the codes, which is an absolutely stupid statement, as the codes are on a printed card not in the computer. He has also consistently refused to question Juan Miesa, the man who received the money. To this date, I still do not know if this man has been questioned. The only computer in the world that has the codes in it is the mainframe computer of Banco BHD, which is why this is obviously an inside job. I have taken the matter to the Superintendencia de Bancos, but they have a period of one month from the submission of a letter of demand to the bank before they can act. I so far have suffered $1,500 in attorney expenses, RD$5,000 in filing expenses, and expenses of travel to Santiago to file a claim at the Superintendencia de Bancos. Our income is US social security and this is a devastating blow to us. I am writing this email to alert all foreign residents about what can happen to their money in the Dominican Republic. Definitely do not bank at Banco BHD, and I really question ever banking again in this country. If this can happen to me, it can also happen to you!
 

bob saunders

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Did you go to the police as advised? My wife and I have been dealing with the BHD in Jarabacoa for 10 plus years without any problems, and have transfered sums larger than what you are talking about without issues.
 

Sosuatrecker

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My attorney went to the Superintendencia de Bancos. I asked him to file a report with the Fiscal of criminal action, but he said it should not be done at this time by me. I would have felt better if he had done so, but I am not an attorney and do not understand how this country operates in such matters. My attorney told me that the money was stolen from the bank and therefore the bank must file criminal charges, as its obligation was to safeguard my money. He pointed out that Banco BHD has one obligatiion: to safeguard my money and it did not do so. My only obligation was to advise Banco BHD that the funds were fraudulently transferred, which I did immediately. Nevertheless, the bank has not returned the money to my account. I believe eventually that I will have to sue the bank for damages. They certainly have not been responsive and have indeed been outright rude to me. In the future, I will no longer deposit money in a Dominican bank and will just write checks on my US bank account to moneychangers. Never again will I trust the banking system in this country and especiallly not BHD Bank.
 

granca

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You poor b....r Sosuatrecker. My accounts are with Banco Popular and to the best of my knowledge and belief nobody can transfer money out of my US Dollar account, not even me, without producing my little bank book. I transfer money from my British bank account (in other threads I have said how), my transferer accepts responsibility for all monies including any Banco Popular charges. If I want any money I have to go to the bank, produce my little book, and take it out. Up to US$ 3000 on demand more with prior notice. Simple even if a little old fashioned.
I don't know if the other banks have similar systems but you will find life here most inconvenient without a bank account.

Go and talk to the manager of your local Banco Popular, most, if not all, speak english.
 

yanandu

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Jan 23, 2011
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Banking

Never have more than $1,000 ( dollars ) in DR bank account.
Have two to be sure.
It's just the same as when I lived in Turkey, Africa.
Use a variety of methods and use safety deposit box to hold emergency dollars.
I can't understand why people don't follow these simple precautions.
Remember even a clerk in a bank can be desperate.
Some international transfers are free - others 15$
Never use a cash card except in person at a bank and keep receipt - check on line 2 days later.
If you need to transfer large amount talk to bank manager first. Give him details of transfer expected. Get him to initial a copy.
Go into bank check balance and before transfer arrives freeze account in writing for all withdrawls.
Release freeze when you need to do final transaction.
Pay over cash with witnesses.
Its so easy. Just follow procedure.
It's just common sense.

Yanandu
 
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rubenpriego

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Feb 28, 2011
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Only name given to the bank? Mr. Juan Miesa, or he had to give his ID or so? no way to find that guy and make him pay for what he did????
 

Sosuatrecker

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They must have all of his information, since he has an account there plus they must have his photo, because he waited in the lobby for the money to be given to him.
 

cobraboy

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Is it possible the info on the card has been compromised? Might have someone else accessed that card? Housekeeper?

Is your husband an American or Dominican?
 

Sosuatrecker

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My husband is American. His social security checks were in that transfer - not that the US government would help. The card was hidden in a photo album that I carry in my purse which is never out of my sight. The only Dominican that enters our home is the maid and then my purse goes outside of the home while she is cleaning. I doubt that the card could have been compromised.
 

rubenpriego

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If bank has all information about that guy, I would get that info and go with some "friendly" dominican guys to find him and make a nice visit ... period.
 

Sosuatrecker

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This is another reason that I have been unable to file a criminal complaint. I only briefly saw his name as the tranferee when I discovered that the money was stolen from my account. The bank has not given me an address or nothing to file a complaint. They only stated that it was done in another city than Cabarete where I opened the account. In addition, my attorney told me that the bank must file a criminal complaint and I must wait 30 days from the letter of demand to the bank before I can do anything. That 30 days coincides with the period that the Superintendencia de Bancos gives to the bank for an investigation. I am so fed up with this, and I cannot believe that it has happened and how nasty and uncooperative the bank has been.
 

rubenpriego

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I dont have any account in a dominican bank yet, but knowing your problem and some more I have heard around, I will do for sure what some DR1's say, having an account there but with just a minimum cash inside. All my savings, profits, etc, in my European bank account for the rest of my life ...
 

Robert

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Jan 2, 1999
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As you are making accusations and claims against a business, you need to post your full contact details in this thread.

Name:
Email:
Tel:

Feel free to PM me the information and I will add then to your first post. Until then, the thread is closed.
 
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