Tuesday, 12 December 2017 - 15:24
Authorities still struggle to crack Bangladesh Central Bank heist

The Philippines bank through which $ 81 million stolen from Bangladesh’s Central Bank was channelled in February 2016 has accused Dhaka’s monetary authority of covering up its negligence and demanded that it stop making the bank a “scapegoat.”
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) was responding to comments made by Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith who said he wanted to “wipe-out” the Manila-based bank.
The comments followed after Bangladesh Bank (BB) had asked the New York Federal Reserve of New York to join a lawsuit it was considering filing against RCBC seeking damages.
“RCBC has revealed everything it legally could to the (Philippine) Senate and its regulator, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. BB, however, has concealed everything it could. The contrast is telling,” George dela Cuesta, head of legal affairs at RCBC, said in a statement today (12).
Unidentified hackers stole $ 81 million from Bangladesh Bank’s account at the New York Fed in February last year, using fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system.
The money was sent to accounts at Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.
Nearly two years later, there is no word on who was responsible and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $ 15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator.
“BB is definitely partly to blame for the heist. Its refusal to be transparent is a continuing cover-up and a disservice to global efforts to combat cybercrime,” dela Cuesta said. “RCBC is clearly a victim of BB's negligence.”
However, almost 2 years later, the authorities in Bangladesh are still trying to crack the case.
Hackers had moved into the country’s Central Bank through SWIFT to transfer funds from the bank’s account with the New York Federal Reserve to private accounts in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Much of the stolen $ 101mn is yet to be retrieved, the masterminds are yet to be identified.
But the probe has revealed the strikingly sophisticated, and international, nature of the crime.
Make a Comment
Make a Comment