BB Cyber Heist
Finance Minister seeks Fed’s help to sue RCBC
Published : Thursday, 6 December, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 369
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday sought help from US-Fed to sue Philippines Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) aiming to recover the stolen money of the Bangladesh Bank (BB).
The minister told this on Wednesday while speaking with journalist after a meeting with cabinet purchase committee in his ministry. He said, "We have already talked to officials in the Fed that how can we sue the RCBC as our time for suing is running out." He said the government is already working hard to sue within January 15 of the year 2019. In this regard when contacted with a senior BB official said, "Our main goal is to sue RCBC and once it is done all the relevant matters will come out." He said it is a lengthy process and can't be do it overnight and added that are not suing the US Fed.
Hackers pulled off one of the biggest cyber heists in history when they stole $81 million from Bangladesh Bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in February 2016.
Bangladesh Bank's Accounts and Budgeting Division Joint Director Jubaer Bin Huda filed a case with Motijheel police on March 15 that year over the heist. The court ordered Criminal Investigation Department to investigate the case and file a report. The heist took place in February 2016, when thirty-five fraudulent instructions to withdraw close to US $1 billion from the account of Bangladesh Bank held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York were issued via the SWIFT network.
Five of the thirty-five fraudulent transfer instructions issued by security hackers, worth US $101 million, succeeded with $20 million traced to Sri Lanka and $81 million traced to the Philippines.
Most of the money transferred to the Philippines went to four personal accounts, held by single individuals, and not to companies or corporations. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York blocked the remaining thirty transactions, amounting to US $850 million, due to suspicions raised by a misspelled instruction. All the money transferred to Sri Lanka has since been recovered. However, as of 2018 only around $18 million of the $81 million transferred to the Philippines has been recovered.
Bangladesh is trying hard to recover rest of the stolen money.