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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Bangladesh: 20 foreign suspects identified in $101 million cyber heist

They have identified 20 foreigners involved

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DHAKA, Bangladesh - Senior Bangladeshi investigators have confirmed that they have identified 20 foreigners involved in one of the largest cyber heists in history.> Big News Network

Officers announced in a statement that they had identified 12 Philippine nationals and eight Sri Lankans who were suspected to have been involved in the massive cyber heist of $101 million from the Bangladesh central bank’s account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Unconfirmed reports also stated that some Chinese nationals have been identified by investigators too.

The statement clarified that investigators had identified the suspects who appeared to have received some of the payments, and not the hackers.

The case unfolded on February 4 and 5 and witnessed hackers breaching Bangladesh Bank’s systems and trying to steal nearly $1 billion from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Reports specified that most of the payments were blocked but $81 million was routed to accounts in the Philippines and diverted to casinos there.

Another $20 million was sent to a company in Sri Lanka but the transfer was reversed because the hackers misspelled the name of the firm. It was this mistake that eventually led to their doom, raising a red flag at the routing bank.

Reports claimed that the Bangladeshi officials had submitted the details to Philippine and Sri Lankan authorities.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee in the Philippines is said to be holding hearings into how the money stolen from the Bangladesh central bank wound up with two casinos and a junket operator in the country.

Sri Lanka’s criminal police department on the other hand is also investigating the cyber theft.

Neither of the countries has commented on the report submitted by Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi investigators are now probing whether there was a genuine negligence of central bank officials due to incompetence or there was a hidden criminal intent behind the lax online security.

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