Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Two officials of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) left Dhaka for Manila on Saturday night to help the Bangladesh ambassador to the Philippines in recovering the $81 million stolen money from its New York Reserve Bank account through a cyber heist.

“Our two officials left the capital on last night for Manila to boost the recovery process of the stolen money from the Philippines,” a BB senior official told BBN in Dhaka.

He also said the BB team will stay in Manila for one week for providing different supports to the ambassador for expediting the overall recovery process of the stolen money from the Philippines.

Currently, the central bank is maintaining close contact with Bangladesh Ambassador to the Philippines Major General (retired) John Gomes for getting up-to-date information about the money-recovery process taken by the Philippines authorities concerned.

The BB official also said two officials visited the Philippines in mid-February to track down the stolen money and take immediate actions for recovering the fund.

“We’re now exchanging information relating to the cyber heist with its counterparts in the Philippines for recovering the stolen fund,” the central banker said without elaborating.

On the other hand, a three-member Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team is scheduled to leave the capital for Manila Monday in this connection.

Two teams are set to attend the fourth hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee on Tuesday, according to the officials.

“Our team will try to identify perpetrators of the digital crimes,” a CID senior official said, adding that the CID team is likely to stay in the Philippines for more than a week for investigation.

The cyber fraud took place on the night of February 4, sending a total of 35 transfer orders into the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York where the BB maintains a foreign exchange account.

Nearly $20 million of the $101 million siphoned off was recovered from Sri Lanka. The lion’s share of the booty landed in the Philippines and that is reported to have been splurged on gaming stakes in casinos.

BBN/SSR/AD