Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal tonight informed the House that the government did not disclose Dr Farashuddin-led committee’s probe report on Bangladesh Bank’s reserve heist so that the ongoing probe process of Criminal Investigation Department is not “influenced”.
While giving a statement under section 300 of the rules of procedure of parliament, the minister said: “The investigation process of CID is still continuing. Therefore, the report of Dr Farashuddin is yet to be disclosed so that it does not influence the criminal investigation process of CID.”
Unidentified hackers stole $101 million from Bangladesh Bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York by using fake orders on the SWIFT payment system in February 2016.
Later, $81 million was sent to accounts in Manila-based Rizal Commercial Bank Corporation (RCBC), from where it disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.
So far, Bangladesh was able to retrieve $15 million from the Philippines. Bangladesh also recovered $20 million sent to a bank in Sri Lanka.
Former governor of the central bank Dr Farashuddin-led committee on May 30, handed its full report to Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
Farashuddin, head of the body that probed the USD 101 million cyber heist, had told reporters that they found SWIFT among others “responsible” for the heist.
Then finance minister AMA Muhith later several times told that the probe will be made public.
Finance minister Mustafa Kamal yesterday pointed that a USA legal firm on behalf of Bangladesh filed a case with the US court in last January and the process of recovering the rest of heist money is still going on.
The minister also informed the House that he will inform the Parliament if any progress in this regard took place in future.
He also said immediately after the reserve heist incident, the government took all possible measures to recover the money, identify the respective individuals, organizations involved in the cyber heist, and prevent of recurrence of such incidents in future.
The minister added, in continuation of this process, an investigation committee headed by Dr Farashuddin was formed. Alongside, he said, the CID was assigned for further investigation into the incident.
Mentioning that the cyberheist is an international crime, Kamal said several overseas organisations were involved in it.
Under this consideration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation of USA and the Philippine government started the investigation into the incident following Bangladesh government’s request, he also said.
He added that FBI has already filed the case with a USA court against the hackers, while a case was filed in Philippine against those who involved in anti-money laundering activities.
Getting sufficient evidence from FBI and Philippines, Bangladesh appointed a US legal firm in June 2018 to file the case with the USA court in the cyber heist, he also told parliament.