A top Bangladeshi investigator said on Monday at least 20 foreigners were involved with the theft of $101 million from the country’s deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Shah Alam, an additional deputy inspector general of the Criminal Investigation Department, said details of the suspects were gathered by two teams that visited the Philippines and Sri Lanka, where the money was transferred after hacking into the Bangladesh Bank’s system.
He refused to disclose the names and nationalities of the foreign suspects. Investigators may need to visit the countries again for further investigation, Alam said.
Chinese hackers tried to steal $1 billion from Bangladesh Bank’s deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank in early February. They sent at least 25 instructions for transfer of funds and succeeded in sending $101 million to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Sri Lanka, which has stricter procedures to monitor money laundering, returned $20 million to Bangladesh. The rest was laundered through casinos in the Philippines.
Bangladesh Bank’s governor Atiur Rahman resigned because of the scandal and the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina faced bitter criticism.
Alam said authorities were investigating whether Bangladeshi officials were involved in the theft. “We are handling the case very carefully to find out the responsible,” he said.