Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) –The first priority of the newly appointed governor of the Bangladesh Bank would be to recover the US $81 million stolen money.

“My first priority will be to bring back the $81 million money which were stolen from the foreign exchange reserve of the Bangladesh Bank with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,” new Governor Fazle Kabir told the media immediately after joining office as the new governor of the central bank of Bangladesh.

During the formal briefing at the Bangladesh Bank headquarters in Motijheel, the new governor also stressed the need for strengthening the cyber security system to avert the recurrence of such incidents.

He termed the $101 million heist of the bank as “a wakeup call”.

On queries whether the financial inclusion initiatives taken by the recently past governor Atiur Rahman will be carried out, Mr Kabir replied in positive.

“All the programmes of the Bangladesh Bank will be continued,” he affirmed.

Mr Kabir is the 11th governor of the central bank.

The central bank of Bangladesh has already able to recover nearly $20 million from Sri Lanka out of $101 million taken away by cyber hackers from its foreign exchange reserve with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently.

Suspected Chinese-origin cybercriminals hacked in the forex reserves in the BB’s account with the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York on February 5.

Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) is now working with its counterpart –the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) of the Philippines – actively to recover the rest of stolen fund, a central banker told the BBN earlier.

Amid the widespread criticism following the theft of $101 million from the BB account, the governor of the central bank of Bangladesh, Dr Atiur Rahman, resigned on Tuesday due to his moral responsibility.

The Bangladesh government, within an hour of his stepping down, appointed Fazle Kabir, a former finance secretary and also the chairman of the Sonali Bank Ltd, as the governor of the BB.

Mr Kabir on Sunday relinquished his position as chairman of the Sonali Bank before joining the central bank of Bangladesh around 12:20pm.

BBN/ANS/AD