Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh is expecting to recover the entire amount of US$ 81 million stolen, as the Philippines’ central bank is probing the involvement of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in the transactions process.
“We’ll get back the entire amount of stolen fund from the Philippines, if investigation by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) find the RCBC involved in such transactions, Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Fazle Kabir told reporters on Tuesday.
The central bank chief also said the BSP investigation is now at the final stage. “We’ve already sought mutual legal assistance (MLA) through the attorney general’s office to recover the stolen US$ 81 million money from the Philippines.”
The central bank of Bangladesh is set to receive $15.25 million from the AMLC of the Philippines after completing a legal process.
“The BSP and AMLC are now helping to recover the stolen money while Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Philippines Major-General (Retd.) John Gomes is coordinating the recovery process,” the BB governor explained.
He also said the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee would resume hearing in this connection after six times hearing held earlier.
Cyber criminals sent 35 orders using the SWIFT financial messaging system to transfer around $951 million out of the BB’s account at the New York Federal Reserve Bank on February 4 night to a series of private accounts in other countries.
The New York Federal Reserve Bank executed five of these orders, transferring a total of $101 million to four private accounts in the Philippines and one to the account of a non-governmental organisation in Sri Lanka.
Nearly $20 million of the $101 million siphoned off was recovered from Sri Lanka. The lion’s share of the money, $81 million, landed in the Philippines.
However, the BB has started preparing a remediation plan to ensure a foolproof IT security system in the country’s central bank to avert any sort of cybercrimes in future.
“We’re now preparing the remediation plan to make our IT security at par with the global standard,” the BB governor said.
He also said the BB is following three tiers of authentication systems – e-mail, SWIFT message and phone – while making any overseas payment through Federal Reserve Bank of New York to avert any unwanted incident.
Two inspection reports on the cyber heist have already been submitted to the government for consideration, according to the BB governor. “The Criminal Investigation Department is still probing the incident.”
The central bank is going to install the latest SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) massaging system to ensure foolproof security for making overseas payments, the central bank chief said, adding: “the system will be audited by a third party after installation.”
The SWIFT provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardised and reliable environment.