Bangladesh slams `in­com­pe­tent' cen­tral bank af­ter hack theft

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Bangladesh's govern­ment lashed out at the cen­tral bank in a rare pub­lic split as ten­sions es­ca­late af­ter hack­ers stole about $101 mil­lion from its for­eign re­serves. Fi­nance Min­is­ter Abul Maal Ab­dul Muhith vowed to take ac­tion against Bangladesh Bank af­ter it failed to in­form the govern­ment im­me­di­ately when the funds went miss­ing from an ac­count with the Fed­eral Re­serve Bank of New York last month. Other trans­fers to­tal­ing $850 mil­lion were blocked, ac­cord­ing to the cen­tral bank.

"Bangladesh Bank has the au­dac­ity not to in­form me," Muhith told re­porters in Dhaka on Sun­day. "I am very un­happy about it. The han­dling of the mat­ter by Bangladesh Bank is very in­com­pe­tent." Sub­hankar Saha, a spokesman for Bangladesh Bank, de­clined to com­ment on Muhith's re­marks when reached by phone on Mon­day. The cy­ber heist has rat­tled au­thor­i­ties from Bangladesh to the Philip­pines, where much of the stolen money ended up. Both gov­ern­ments are co­op­er­at­ing on in­ves­ti­ga­tions as they look to fig­ure out how to pre­vent a sim­i­lar theft in the fu­ture. Bangladesh Bank is in­ves­ti­gat­ing eight of­fi­cials who carry out for­eign ex­change trans­ac­tions by ro­ta­tion, ac­cord­ing to a Fi­nance Min­istry of­fi­cial who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause he's not au­tho­rized to speak about the probe.

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